1-year-old loses mother and father to gun violence


HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) – Earlier this month, Tiara Jefferson was shot and killed inside a car in Newport News. Her young daughter was in the backseat.

This family is no stranger to tragedy.  About a year and a half ago,  the little girl’s father was also shot and killed.

“I just still feel numb,” said Devin Jones’ mother Sandra Thomas. “It’s like it’s not a reality.”

Not much has changed along Todds Lane in Hampton since December 2016.

“It’s devastating,” Thomas added.

It was the place and moment that changed Thomas’ life.

“Somebody said he got shot,” Thomas said.  “I didn’t know he was gone, but i knew it was serious.”

Thomas’ son, 24-year-old Devin Jones, was in the back seat of a moving car.  He was hit by gunfire and died a short time after that.

“You would never think something like that would happen to one of your kids, especially when he was a good kid,” Thomas added. “He didn’t hang in the streets.”

Jones had just become a father.  His daughter Ava was only 3 months old at the time.

“He was all about his little girl,” Thomas said. 

The family seeks answers.  Police haven’t found who pulled the trigger.

“Somebody has got to say something,” Thomas added.  “Have a heart. Have a conscious. Think of the little girl that just lost her parents. Not only her father, but she lost her mother, too.”

Two weeks ago, more tragedy for the family.  Ava’s mother Tiara Jefferson was driving down 27th Street in Newport News when there was gunfire.  She was killed.  She was 15 weeks pregnant. 

Ava, who was in the back seat, was unharmed.

“They both got killed the same way and it’s not fair,” Thomas said.

Newport News police haven’t made an arrest in this case either.

“If I can do anything for her family as well as mine to find justice for both of them, that’s what i’m fighting for,” Thomas added.

Ava is now being raised by her grandmother, unaware her parents are never coming back.

“When she starts asking questions, I’m going to let her know that her mother and father didn’t just leave and abandon her,” Thomas said. “God had a better plan for them.”

Hampton police say they are working with Newport News detectives to see if the two cases are connected. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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