Doctors delivered her baby alive, but she passed away the next day. "We have to bury two people at the same time," the family said.
A 31-year-old woman was fatally shot right in front of her 4-year-old daughter in 1800 block of First Avenue in Cincinnati, Ohio. The mother, Michelle McDonald, was eight months pregnant when she was shot inside her West Price Hill apartment at around 6 pm on Friday, July 16, 2021. After being transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Michelle succumbed to her injuries, but doctors delivered her baby, according to PEOPLE. The newborn girl was named Aaliyah Marie McCoy; however, the family was hit with another tragedy after the infant baby passed away the very next day.
"We have to bury two people at the same time. Mother and child. Like, that's ridiculous. It's absurd to me," said Michelle's cousin, Dorthea Young, according to WCPO 9.
What adds to the heartbreak is the thought of Michelle's 4-year-old daughter having to live the rest of her life with the trauma of losing her mother right in front of her. "We got a 4-year-old we gotta help get through trauma for the rest of her life," said Dorthea, as reported by WXIX. After Michelle was shot, her 4-year-old tried to talk to family members about what she saw during the horrifying moment. "My mom is dead," she said and kept pointing to her head.
"She kept trying to wake her mom up but she wouldn’t get up," Michelle's aunt, Minnie Evans told WLWT. "She witnessed that. She was there."
Michelle's killer was identified as Antonio Wilcox, 31, who was dating the pregnant mother before shooting her inside her house. "When he killed my niece, he killed the whole family," Minnie shared. According to WXIX, the victim's mother, Michelle Sanchez, said, "I just feel like so much pain like it’s never going to end."
"Within a span of 24 hours, you lose your child and your grandchild unborn," said Michelle's cousin, Adrian Blasingame. For the bereaved family, the only comfort is knowing that the shooter, Antonio, was arrested and charged for the death of the mother and her baby girl. "We got immediate justice, and it goes to show God is working with our family,” Adrian added.
A GoFundMe page was created after the deaths to help raise funds for the 4-year-old girl left behind.
"Michelle leaves behind a four year old daughter, who has no living parents," the fundraising page said. "Two years ago Michelle's daughter lost her father in a car accident, caused by a drunk driver."
Describing Michelle as a "genuine, loyal, hardworking, giving and caring person," the page went on to say: "Michelle was loved by many and will always be remembered as someone who can be counted on... She lived her life with respect and determination."
"Michelle's and Aaliyah's death is a devastating and tragic event that no family should have to endure," the page added. According to PEOPLE, Antonio was booked into the Hamilton County Justice Center. He pleaded not guilty and is being held on $250,000 bail.
Cover image source: GoFundMe