A man has been sentenced to life in prison after fatally shooting a woman who was trying to protect her grandchildren.
According to KMOV, Tommy Dora was convicted of first-degree murder in the 2014 death of Juliette Cleveland-Davis. Although his official sentencing is May 18, officials said the 22-year-old will face life in prison with no possibility of parole. His accomplice, Errick Owens, received 25 years for second-degree murder, says the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The 46-year-old was walking down the street with her three grandchildren, aged 4, 5, and 7, when Dora and Owens attempted to shoot someone else. Cleveland-Davis was shot in the chest.
Her daughter, Kellie Joseph, told KMOV about the last time she had talk with her mother.
"We talked and joked about some neighborhood stuff and then 20 minutes later my phone was ringing off the hook telling me she had got shot walking with my kids," said Joseph.
Officials said Cleveland-Davis told her grandchildren to run. They came back with her husband, who said she died in his arms.
"She died protecting, giving her life for her grandkids," said Kellie Joseph, daughter of Cleveland-Davis. "She did only what a grandmother would do in that situation."
Cleveland-Davis was pronounced dead at the hospital. Her grandchildren were unharmed.
"You will catch [my children] crying," Joseph explained. "I say, ‘What is wrong?’ ‘I just want my granny.’ Because in certain instances, anything that we do my mom would have been there with us."
After hearing of the murder, the local community was outraged and a rally was held for the victim in north St. Louis.
"It's hard enough to lose a grandma, but to watch her be murdered!" wrote Sandra Marie on KTVI Facebook page in August 2014. "Those poor children are in my prayers!"
"The word ‘unbelievable’ doesn't even fit - it's such BS that this kind of horror is even occurring," wrote Lisa R. Adams. "Seriously - shooting people just out taking a walk? WTH?? This is insane! Why do these people think they can do that and carry on with their lives? Why are people like this still living amongst us? If anyone has a solution please say it - it's time to make a difference!"