A family is mourning the loss of a 3-year-old Philadelphia boy who passed away last Tuesday after his father used him as a human shield in 2019.
Yaseem Jenkins was just 11 months old when he was struck in the head, neck, and buttocks while seated in the backseat of his father’s car, NY Post reports. Jenkins’s father, Nafes Monroe, allegedly tried to buy drugs with counterfeit cash and decided to bring his baby boy with him.
On Friday, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said authorities are still awaiting autopsy results but believe the toddler died from injuries sustained in the 2019 shooting.
“We are awaiting a medical examiner’s report on the cause of death but we have reason to believe the cause of death is his original injury from that shooting,” Krasner said.
Francisco Ortiz, 29, shot Jenkins and Monroe. He was expecting to get charged with murder in the tot’s death if it is ruled a homicide by the coroner. However, he was hit with an attempted murder charge. Monroe was charged with recklessly endangering another person and endangering the welfare of a child, CBS Philly reports.
“Our investigation has led us to believe that he intentionally had his child with him when he was making such types of purchases with the idea or belief that if someone saw that he had a child in the car, that they would not fire upon him,” Anthony Voci of the district attorney’s office said at the time.
“A human shield is probably the term that I would use.”
Voci said that Jenkins was not rushed to the hospital after the shooting and was instead driven to a house, Today reports.
Ortiz is also connected to the 2019 fatal shooting of 2-year-old Nikolette Rivera. Police accuse Ortiz of supplying the gun used to kill Rivera to the suspects in that case.