Kyla O'Neal: 9-month-pregnant woman fatally shot by ex-fiance, newborn left with serious brain injury
Kyla O'Neal, 31, was sitting inside her vehicle when she was gunned down in the parking lot of an Amazon fulfillment center in Lakeville, Minneapolis just before 7 pm on Sunday, January 8. She was nine months pregnant. The mother was immediately rushed to a local hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries. Doctors managed to deliver her baby, who was later named Messiah, before the mother's death.
Messiah has suffered a traumatic brain injury, according to Daily Mail. Kyla’s grief-stricken mother, Katina O'Neal, told CBS News that her grandson "lost a lot of oxygen to the brain, so he has no brain functioning right now. I'm holding onto faith. I'm praying. God got the last word, so hopefully, He gives him to me." "She didn't deserve what happened to her," Katina O'Neal added. "She had a promising future."
Kyla also leaves behind three other children, aged 10, 7, and 2, according to the GoFundMe set up to help with funeral expenses and support her children. Devastated family members described the young mother as outspoken and driven. "All she ever thought about doing was making a life for her and her kids," Katie said, according to CBS News. "She was looking forward to the baby's birth."
The investigators have identified the gunman as 32-year-old Donte Raphael McCray, who is an employee at the Amazon facility. McCray is said to be the father of the newborn baby and Kyla’s second daughter. She reportedly ended her relationship with him shortly before he shot her. Police also revealed that upon their arrival, they found the gunman standing near Kyla’s injured body. He was accompanied by their daughter.
"When we have a situation where a pregnant female has been critically injured, it just adds another whole layer of stress and emotion to that call because now, we've got another human being we're trying to save as well," Police Commander William Gerl said. McCray has been charged with second-degree manslaughter and is currently held at Dakota County Jail. His criminal record shows a judge barred him from possessing any firearms in May because of a criminal conviction. He was scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday, January 10.