About two dozen family members and friends gathered Tuesday morning outside the Kansas City, Kan., house where a drive-by shooter killed a mother of three teenagers.
Family members identified the woman as Natasha Hays, who lived in the house with her three children.
“She was a hard-working mother of three,” said Marco McElwee of Kansas City, Kan., who is married to a cousin of the victim. “She did not deserve this. She did not deserve to be in the predicament she is in right now — for us to be in the predicament that we are in now.”
Hays died when gunfire rang out about 3:45 a.m. Tuesday in the 2400 block of North Ninth Street in Kansas City, Kan. Police said three others were inside the house at the time but were not hurt.
A neighbor, who attended school with Hays, said he woke to the loud sound of rapid gunfire. He looked outside to see where it was coming from and saw a gray car with a sunroof and spoiler speed away from the scene, heading west on Cleveland Avenue.
The neighbor said he didn’t know much about his former classmate, except that she was cool.
Hours after the shooting, family members said they were still trying to piece together what had happened. To the best of their knowledge, Hays was sleeping at the time of the shooting.
“We are still all lost,” McElwee said. “We are still trying to figure it out, man. We just know that it was just uncalled-for circumstances. That’s just what happened.”
Hays worked as a caregiver, but McElwee said he didn’t know for sure where she worked.
“She spent the majority of her time helping somebody else, and she ended up in a helpless situation,” McElwee said. “The community lost a good citizen, a good person.”
Hays’ family asked anyone with information about the drive-by shooting to call police. They also were asking any businesses or anyone in the area who has surveillance cameras to turn over video to the police.
The Kansas City, Kan., Police Department’s Major Case Unit was investigating the homicide and asked anyone with information about the shooting to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).