It was a typical Monday afternoon. The big kids were in school. The little kids were home with mom. She was standing in her doorway, her baby in her arms, when the air suddenly filled with bullets. And Sheri Williams died in that doorway, this mom shot to death while holding her baby on a typical Monday afternoon.
Sheri Williams did nothing wrong. She was just a mom at home with her two youngest kids and her sick mother, waiting for her eldest to come home from elementary school. And she was shot. Dead.
Cops say the volley of gunfire came from two as-yet-unidentified men who'd gotten into an argument at a restaurant near the Birmingham, Alabama housing projects where Williams lived with her three kids, where she cared for her mother who suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Her 6-year-old was at school, but Williams' 4-year-old was in her home, and she was holding her 10-day-old son in her arms when she was shot.
The men were shooting at one another right out on the streets in broad daylight, clearly disregarding where they were or what they were doing.
They were in a housing project around 1 p.m. in the afternoon on a Monday. It's a time when little kids are out playing in the yard. It's a time when moms are standing outside with their babies in their arms. It's a time when people should feel safe.
And then came the guns.
These men were so wrapped up in an argument that they couldn't -- or simply didn't -- see the risk their selfishness created for countless people who had nothing to do with it.
Their argument killed a mother. It left three children motherless.
It turned a typical Monday afternoon for a mom home with the kids into a tragedy.
Cops are still searching for the two suspects involved in the shooting. Even if they find them, there's no way to undo the fatal consequences of their thoughtless actions.
But somehow we must send the message that this kind of behavior isn't acceptable. Whether it's shooting on public streets or driving drunk, crimes often have unintended and completely innocent victims.
If a mom holding her baby isn't safe, who is?
Image via CarbonNYC/Flickr