A newborn is "fighting for his life" after his mother was shot to death outside an Amazon warehouse in Lakeville by the baby's father, who was charged Tuesday with murder.
Kyla O'Neal, 31, referred to in the criminal complaint as Kyla Fletcher, was shot while sitting in a vehicle at about 6:50 p.m. Sunday in the parking lot of the Amazon Fulfillment Center in the 9800 block of W. 217th Street.
She was taken by emergency medical responders to HCMC, and died there that night. Medical personnel there delivered the baby Sunday night, police said.
Donte R. McCray, 32, of St. Louis Park, was arrested Sunday and charged Tuesday in Dakota County District Court with second-degree intentional murder in connection with the shooting outside the warehouse where he worked. McCray remains jailed in lieu of $2 million bail. He appeared in court Tuesday morning and has another hearing scheduled for Jan. 19. Court records do not list an attorney for him.
"The baby was delivered via cesarean section and is currently in critical condition," County Attorney Kathy Keena said in a statement. "If the baby does not survive, additional charges will be filed in relation to the baby's death."
O'Neal's survivors also include children ages 10, 7 and 2, "and my nephew [who] was forced to be delivered but is fighting for his life," her sister Samantha Scott said in an online fundraising campaign to cover funeral expenses.
Destiny Hicks said O'Neal worked as a hairstylist and was studying to be a nurse.
"We met about four years ago when she first did my hair," Hicks told the Star Tribune. "She has a way about making people feel so safe and comfortable around her. We developed a friendship through the years that became really special to us both."
Family members refer to Kyla with the last name O'Neal.
According to the complaint:
Police arrived outside the building and spoke with McCray, "who appeared distraught" and acknowledged that he and Fletcher had been arguing about him having a child with another woman while Fletcher was pregnant.
Fletcher picked up McCray at his mother's house to take him to work. Upon arriving, McCray explained, he realized he had guns in bags with him and wanted to "clear" them of live ammunition, when one gun fired a round into Fletcher's neck.
Officers viewed exterior surveillance video and saw McCray exit Fletcher's vehicle in front of the building and get in the back. McCray then was running alongside the car as Fletcher drove away before entering a parking spot only to go in reverse and push McCray backward. Fletcher then pulled into the parking spot and hit a post. Under a second round of questioning, McCray admitted being angry about the car hitting him in the parking lot and raised the gun, pointed it at Fletcher and pulled the trigger.
"The defendant claimed that he did not know there was still a round in the chamber of the gun when he pointed it and shot," the complaint read.
The complaint does not say whether the shooting was captured on video or whether McCray was inside or outside the vehicle at the time Fletcher was shot. Police Chief Brad Paulson explained, "We're still very early on in the legal process here, so we're still being a bit careful with what's out there publicly."
Fletcher's mother told police her daughter told McCray that the baby she was about to have would not have his name and that he "had to go," the complaint continued. The mother also said she saw them arguing over her car keys. At one point, the mother continued, Fletcher used a broomstick to try and get the keys back from McCray. She also broke his cellphone, furthering angering McCray.
McCray told Fletcher that he would kill her if she ever had another man around the kids, the mother told police. He then said to Fletcher and other family members that " 'You ain't bulletproof,' " she added.
Court records show that McCray was convicted in Hennepin County in May of carrying a pistol without a permit, a gross misdemeanor that made it illegal for him to possess a firearm.