The father of a 2-year-old girl who was shot dead outside an Inkster home earlier this month testified Wednesday about his relationship with the accused shooter, and the moment he realized he had lost his daughter.
Kenneth French was with his daughter KaMiya Gross on July 1, on the porch of a cousin's house on Carlyle Street, when it's alleged that Raymone Jackson walked up and opened fire. Gross was killed by a single gunshot to her head.
"My baby was laying on the ground. Gone. Shot in the eye," French said.
French's cousin, 12-year-old Chelsea Lancaster, was also shot in his chest, arm and legs. She is recovering.
"I made sure they got the kids off to the hospital before they ever touched me," French said. "I told them who shot me just in case I didn't make it."
Jackson is charged with first-degree murder, torture and gun charges. Co-defendant, Raphael Hearn, is charged with first-degree murder.
Jackson has been bound over to stand trial on all of his charges. A competency exam was ordered for Hearn.
-- Chelsea Lancaster
-- Kenneth French
French said he knows the two because they all grew up in the same neighborhood.
"I've known Jackson since he was a teenager," French said.
He said there hadn't been trouble between the three, except when Hearn allegedly shot somebody at French's motorcycle club and was also shot himself.
French said he was blamed for the shooting because "I didn't do something to the dude who shot him."
When French was asked if he knew why Jackson would want to shoot him, he suggested it was in retaliation.
"The idea was to kill my baby before he killed me to make me suffer," French said.
He said he knew that was the reason because it had been posted on Facebook.
--Raymone Jackson in court
12-year-old's mother testifies
Lancaster's mother, Toni Holt, said she, French, and the children were outside playing when Jackson showed up.
"I'm not sure who he hit first. It really happened really fast," Holt said.
She said the next thing she remembered was looking up to see Gross on the ground and then heard her own daughter screaming.
"I told Chelsea to lay down on the porch so I could hold her still. I put my hand over her wound so she wouldn’t bleed out," Holt said.
She said French was on the ground with his daughter.
"He just kept saying, 'My baby, my baby ... they shot my baby,'" Holt said.
Friend of suspects says he feared for his life
Marcus Brown was with Jackson and Hearn on the day of the shooting. Brown testified that the three had gone out to get liquor and were "ridin' around" when they passed by a housing complex and Jackson pointed out that he recognized French standing outside.
Brown testified that Jackson said, "We're going to holla at that (expletive). Let me kill that (expletive)."
Brown said Jackson, who was driving, pulled the car around to the back of the housing building, pulled out a gun and walked around to the front.
"I was going to leave the situation, but I was scared," Brown said.
He said Hearn got into the driver's seat when Jackson got out. Then, about a minute later, Brown said he heard gunshots before Jackson got back and the three drove away.
When asked why he didn't call police, Brown said, "I was in fear of my life at the time."