Who was Shalimar Birkett? NYC mom-of-two shot in the head at vigil for friend executed hours earlier by gangster

32-year-old Shalimar Birkett was fatally shot in the head as she attended a vigil for 31-year-old Miles Bobbsemple in the Brownsville neighborhood


                            Who was Shalimar Birkett? NYC mom-of-two shot in the head at vigil for friend executed hours earlier by gangster
(Getty Images)

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK CITY: A woman was shot to death while attending a memorial service for her friend who had reportedly been killed execution-style just hours earlier for allegedly stepping on a gang member's foot.

Shalimar Birkett, 32, was fatally shot in the head Monday night, May 17, as she attended a vigil for 31-year-old Miles Bobbsemple in the Brownsville neighborhood, according to the New York Daily News, which noted that the suspected gang member's identity was not revealed.

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Mother-of-two Birkett was attending her pal Bobbsemple's vigil around 11 pm when a gunman got out of a car down the block and opened fire. Birkett was rushed to a nearby hospital, but she succumbed to her injuries.

Authorities told the Daily News that the suspected shooter believed that members of a rival gang were at the vigil and that he did not intend to kill Birkett. However, investigators believe the man who shot her is the same shooter who took Bobbsemple's life around 12.30 am on Monday at a nearby house party, when the latter accidentally stepped on a gang member's foot.

According to the Daily News, Bobbsemple had been dropped off at a local hospital by a driver. Cops were initially uncertain what had led to the shooting, but they now believe that Bobbsemple had been shot at the same party where a third victim, 30, was also shot in both legs and in the shoulder. That victim, who has also not been named, is reportedly in stable condition at another area hospital.

Speaking to the Daily News, Birkett's mother Patricia Hamilton called the shooting death a "nightmare." She revealed that her daughter lived with her and that Bobbsemple was a "friend" of Birkett, but "not a close friend." "She was an outgoing, fun person, loved by everyone — all her friends and family," Hamilton said. "Why? Why you had to come shoot and kill my daughter? She was just there."

WABC reported that Bobbsemple had no criminal history while Birkett had one previous arrest, the details of which were sealed. 

According to the report, Birkett had recently landed a job at Famous Footwear. Hamilton told the Daily News that she didn't know whether Birkett's two boys, ages 11 and 10, had been told that their mother had been murdered. "She always takes them out to eat, shopping. They go to waterparks and stuff during the summertime. They do fun things together, her and the aunts and the cousins," Hamilton said.

Birkett reportedly leaves behind six brothers and five sisters. According to the Daily News, another of her siblings had also lost his life to gun violence. Neyon Hamilton, 25, an aspiring carpenter, was shot to death in the East Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn in July 2018, per the outlet.

New York City has faced an unprecedented rise in gun violence this year. According to NYPD data, there were nine murders in the city for the week of May 5 to May 9, compared to two during the same period in 2020 — marking a 350% increase from last year. That said, NYC recorded a total of 505 shooting victims as of May 9, close to double the number by the same date in 2020, which was 275.