A woman eight-months pregnant and her young daughter were found shot dead Friday afternoon in a parked car in Southwest Baltimore, the latest and perhaps most shocking killing of an especially violent spring.
Baltimore police responded to a call of an unconscious person in the 200 block of Boswell Road in the city’s Westgate neighborhood around 12:30 p.m. Friday. There they found Shiand Miller, 23, and her 3-year-old daughter Shaniya Gilmore, the woman’s mother told The Baltimore Sun Friday evening.
Baltimore police said they suffered gunshot wounds and were pronounced dead at the scene.
A stricken Sheree Reid said her 3-year-old granddaughter was preparing to start prekindergarten. Her daughter was pregnant with a boy, she said, and the family was planning a baby shower.
“I had a grandson coming and I was excited,” said Reid, adding her daughter, who worked at a Pikesville nursing home, was a happy, peaceful person.
“She wanted peace she wanted love, she wanted everyone to love her,” Reid said. “I never thought anyone would do anything to her.”
Baltimore police so far have not released the victims’ names or any suspects or motives, but an internal Baltimore police document obtained by The Baltimore Sun confirmed the identity of the victims.
Reid is demanding immediate justice and asked Baltimore police to find out who killed her daughter and granddaughter. Several family members gathered to mourn the loss outside of a Windsor Mill home later Friday afternoon.
The shootings continued a surge in violence in Baltimore, with 150 people having been killed so far this year, according to police, six more than the corresponding time last year. Baltimore has recorded 22 killings already this month, following 39 homicides in May, which was the deadliest month since 2015.
Friday afternoon, residents of the Westgate neighborhood gathered under the midday sun outside the crime scene tape blocking off the area and speculated about what took place.
Baltimore police said it was unclear when the shooting occurred, and some on the scene believed it may have occurred overnight.
A woman at the scene said she called 911. The woman, who asked to remain anonymous out of concern for her safety, said she left her home around 8:45 a.m. and noticed the vehicle. She pulled alongside the car and saw the victim but thought she was asleep.
After leaving the neighborhood and returning around 10:25 a.m. she pulled up to the car again and blew her horn. The victim remained unresponsive. After she leaned in and said “Miss, Miss, Miss” and got no response, she knew something was wrong.
The woman said she had no idea there was a toddler in the car at the time.
“When they told me that, I was grateful I didn’t know,” the woman said.
“I knew something was wrong, I knew something was wrong. And with how we are living today with all the violence and stuff it is getting to be so that you just expect anything.”
Mikka Stanton, a mother who lives down the street from where the car was found, described the shooting as “unnerving.”
Stanton described the neighborhood as very “close-knit” and one where “everyone in the community” knows each other.
“We take care of each other, and it is unthinkable to come home and see something like this happen,” she said, adding that she had never before seen the car in which the victims were found.
Stanton said she and her children heard what sounded like gunshots overnight, but the family did not step outside to investigate or call police.
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“At this time and this place where we are in, you don’t think to call the police right now,” said Stanton, pointing to the nationwide outrage over the recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Rayshard Brooks, who all died at the hands of police. “We are not in a position where we feel comfortable as a community, my community, to say, ‘Hey, let’s call the cops. We think something’s wrong.’”
In hindsight, she said, she regrets not doing more after hearing what she thought were gunshots.
“I really wish I had at that point, but, then again, it’s not like I could’ve reversed anything that actually transpired,” Stanton said. “Either way, it’s a bad series of events.”
Baltimore has been roiled by shootings of young children in recent years. Seven-year-old Taylor Hayes was fatally shot in 2018 when a man opened fire on the car in which she was traveling. In 2015, 7-year-old Kester Browne and his mother Jennifer Jeffrey-Browne were executed at their Southwest Baltimore home, a case that remains unsolved. Three-year-old MacKenzie Elliott was struck by an errant bullet and killed in 2014. And one-year-old Carter Scott was fatally shot in 2013 during an attack on his father, who survived.
No information about a suspect was released as of Friday afternoon.