Joshua Carter Sr. paced the sidewalk outside the New Union Baptist Church on West Franklin Street on Wednesday afternoon. He was still wearing a pink hospital wristband and concealing tearful eyes behind his sunglasses. Wrapped around his head was his 2-year-old son's favorite blanket.
The night before, police say, a woman steered a vehicle onto the sidewalk alongside the church in the 1900 block of West Franklin after an argument, hitting three people and killing two of them — including Joshua Jr., Carter's only child.
Also killed was Latoya Skipwith, 25, a relative of Carter. A 7-year-old girl, whose name police have not released, suffered what police said were non-life-threatening injuries.
Carter was nearby and ran to the scene, where someone held Joshua Carter Jr. as they waited for an ambulance.
"When they showed him to me, it was shocking," said Carter, 24. "My son looked at me for the last time with his eyes open, like, 'Daddy, help me.'"
Elissha Jefferson, the great-grandmother of the slain boy, said police were communicating little with the family.
"We've heard nothing," Jefferson said. "If they're not saying a lot because they are working on some leads, come to us and say that. Don't just leave us in the dark."
Helen Whitfield, who said she was Joshua's grandmother, stood on the sidewalk next to the New Union Baptist Church and traced the path of the car, which was marked with orange spray paint by police crash investigators. She peered down into a concrete stairwell, where witnesses said the victims were thrown after being hit by the car.
Pictures taken before the crash Tuesday night show the stairwell surrounded by a metal grate. Only a portion remained Wednesday afternoon. One pole holding a roof over the stairwell was bent at a 90-degree angle. The roof sagged.
At the bottom of the stairwell was a patch of blood, with a teddy bear and flowers placed in the corner.