A quadruple shooting claimed the lives of two boys and their mother in New Orleans early Friday morning, and left a third child in critical condition at a local hospital.
Authorities have yet to name a suspect or possible motive for the shootings, NOLA.com reported. Crimestoppers has offered a $5,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest.
Officials arriving on the scene at 4:15 a.m. first found A’Miya Smith, 12, and rushed her to University Medical Center, where she remained Sunday under police guard. A’Miya’s grandmother, Debra Smith, told WDSU that A’miya had been shot in the face.
As investigators ventured deeper into the home, the bodies of Monique Smith, 30, Justin Simms, 10, and Jumyrin Smith, 6, were discovered.
“Every murder breaks a heart,” NOPD Chief Michael Harrison told reporters. “But to find that children were involved…it really rattles everybody.”
Neighbors told NOLA.com that Monique, her children and her husband moved into the residence about a year or two ago. Initially the family was seen playing in the yard or having cookouts; however, the family soon turned more reclusive and neighbors rarely saw them.
“Every murder breaks a heart.”
A relative said Monique was separated from her husband, and Debra Smith told WDSU the husband had hit Monique.
“He told me that he did,” Smith said. “That he put his hands on her.”
Authorities haven’t said whether Smith’s husband, who is believed to be living in Mississippi, is a person of interest in the case.
“It’s sad,” a neighbor told NOLA.com. “The family seemed like they were real peaceful. The children seemed happy. But it’s just New Orleans. You never know.”