Shekierrah Adams spent her last moments shielding her infant son from his father’s rage, authorities said.
By the time police arrived at the Sharon Hill apartment where the violence took place Saturday afternoon, authorities said, Adams, 18, and the child’s father, Raquill Holland, 23, were dead in a gruesome murder-suicide. Chief Richard Herron said Tuesday that investigators believe Holland intended to kill the 11-month-old boy, too.
“It was a horrific scene,” Herron said. “The baby was completely covered in blood.”
But the infant was conscious, having been protected by his mother even as she fought for her own life.
The child suffered gunshot wounds to a thigh and the abdomen, but was in stable condition at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia on Tuesday, Herron said. He is in the custody of the Delaware County Office of Children and Youth Services, which will determine who cares for him in the future.
A relative of Holland’s called 911 around 4:30 p.m. Saturday, frantically telling dispatchers family members had found him and Adams dead on the floor of Holland’s basement apartment inside a brick rowhouse on the 100 block of Laurel Road, Herron said.
Family told police they drove to the home when they didn’t hear from Holland for several hours, and saw his car parked behind the property. The door to the house was dead-bolted from the inside. So they forced entry, Herron said, and made the grisly discovery.
Adams had been shot in the face and torso, while Holland had a gunshot wound to the head, the chief said. A Glock .40-caliber handgun was found near Holland’s body. Nearby, Adams lay in the fetal position, her child next to her, he said.
“It is my belief that the mother was trying to shield the baby,” Herron said.
Holland had a permit to carry a weapon in Delaware County, Herron said, but the gun was owned by Holland’s brother.
Investigators and family members don’t know what prompted the attack, Herron said, and it was unclear whether Adams and Holland were in a relationship. Adams didn’t live at the Sharon Hill apartment, which was in the basement of Holland’s father’s home, the chief said.
From talking with relatives, investigators learned that the two had had “a volatile relationship" during which Holland had threatened Adams, Herron said.
In October 2018, Sharon Hill police were called to the home for a report of an argument, but Adams turned them away and no charges were filed.