Stacey Jones: 8-months-pregnant Illinois woman shot dead on front porch, newborn fights for life
Authorities found racially-charged graffiti on the side of Jones' apartment, but believe it was placed there as a diversion
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: A heavily-pregnant probation officer was found shot to death on her front porch, while doctors somehow managed to save her baby's life. Chicago police responded to an address in the Jeffery Manor neighborhood early Tuesday, October 13 morning and found 35-year-old Stacey Jones unresponsive on the front porch of the residence with two gunshot wounds in the back.
Jones was immediately rushed to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where doctors were unable to save her life, but successfully delivered her baby boy — who remains in critical condition at Comer Children's Hospital, NBC Chicago reported.
Jones worked as a probation officer for the Circuit Court of Cook County, Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans confirmed to CBS News. Authorities told NBC News they believe the shooting was not a random act, albeit they have not named a suspect and a motive is unknown. Meanwhile, Jones' neighbors also agree this was likely a planned attack. "They weren't quick shots. They were measured shots, and whoever did it wanted to do it," neighbor Elliott Cobb told CBS News.
A GoFundMe page launched by Jones' cousin Daisy Johnson said she was working on her PhD and had two grade-school aged children. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that authorities found racially charged graffiti on the side of Jones' apartment, but believe it was placed there as a diversion. Furthermore, police told the Sun-Times that there was currently "no indication" that race was an angle in the homicide.
"At this time, based on the information and additional evidence gathered by detectives, we do not believe this crime was racially motivated or a random act," Chicago Police Department spokesman Thomas Ahern told the paper. Investigators are searching for a suspect, while Jones' family is grieving her untimely demise. "Her child — a boy — was saved, and we want to do everything we can to support him and my aunt who now has to take on my cousin's newborn and two older boys," her cousin Daisy Johnson wrote on GoFundMe.
Neighbors and friends also mourned her loss. "This is truly, like, tragedy; just waking up to hear this news that your coworker that you see every single day is gone," Nicholas Minor, a friend and coworker, told ABC7. "I just saw her Friday, and she was telling me how happy she was that she was about to have a baby," he continued. "Stacey was a very perky person, you know, always had a smile every morning coming to work. Every day, every time I saw her she'd say, 'Hi Nick!'"
Minor said while Jones was passionate about her job, she was extremely proud of her children. He noted how her boys were robbed of a loving mother. "I just really hope that this case gives the justice that it deserves, because the world is missing a fantastic person," he said. Nearby resident Tracy Hancock, who reportedly lost a niece to gun violence in the neighborhood in 2012, also empathized with Jones' family. "She left four kids that we had to raise, and they're still traumatized," she told ABC7 of her niece's tragic demise. "This touched me really bad. In my heart, in my stomach. I couldn't go back to sleep. I heard it at 6 o'clock in this morning. I'm praying for the baby, that the baby comes through."