A young mother of two from Chicago was killed by a stray bullet that flew into the house and hit her in the head while she was reading the Bible to her baby daughter at bedtime. Melanie Yates, 23, and her husband Daniel were separately getting their daughters ready when the stray bullet hit her.
The incident took place last Saturday around 9 pm in the 2800 block of Enoch Avenue in Zion, Illinois, about 50 miles northeast of Chicago. She was taken to the hospital but succumbed to her injuries there.
Yates was inside her home on Enoch Avenue last week when she was hit by gunfire from the road. It is not known how the bullet entered the house. Lam Calderon, Yates' mother said that she and Daniel were getting their children ready separately for bed when suddenly a bang was heard.
Calderon said that initially her son in law didn't realize what happened as he was in the other room. Hearing the bang, he first called out to Yates, asking her if she too heard what to him sounded like loud fireworks. However, no reply came.
Daniel then searched the house for his spouse and found her shot in the head. "He looked for her, where she was at in the house, and he found her shot in the head," the victim's mother toldABC 7 Chicago. She was profusely bleeding and unresponsive.
Paramedics rushed the wife and mother of two daughters to the hospital. However, despite desperate efforts by doctors, Yates died the next morning.
The tragic incident has left the family shocked. While Yates was being transported to the hospital her husband took their two children to Yates' parents and explained what had happened.
"He came in and he told me that our daughter had been shot and we didn't believe him. It was just unfathomable," Calderon recounted.
Police in Zion have launched an investigation but have said that they do not believe Yates was the intended target of the shooting. Although the family has not received any new updates on the shooter's identity, they say they are only left with their faith.
"We have the hope and the assurance that [Yates] is in heaven right now with Jesus, and one day, we will see her again," Calderon told ABC7. "That's what we're holding on to."
According to neighbors, multiple shots were being fired in the area on that night. Investigators have collected six shell casings near the Yates family's home, according to Fox 32.
Yates' brother has launched a GoFundMe campaign to provide financial assistance to his brother-in-law, writing in the description: "Everybody who knew Lanie knows she loved Jesus Christ with every fiber of her being. There is no doubt whatsoever that she is in heaven at this very moment. But we on earth miss her very dearly."