Maryiah Coleman’s mother was planning a Saturday baby shower for her first grandchild. Now she is planning a funeral for her daughter and her unborn grandson.
Maryiah, 22, who was eight months pregnant, was shot about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday outside the Matador North Apartments on Winburn Drive. She and her baby died at 11:38 p.m. at University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital. There have been no arrests, and there are many unanswered questions about the shooting, police said Friday.
Tamara Coleman said her daughter was a typical young woman. She was a big sister who loved music and makeup. But more than anything, Maryiah was excited about becoming a mother.
“This was probably the happiest I’ve seen her in such a long time,” Coleman said.
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On Wednesday morning, less than 15 hours before she was shot outside the apartment where she lived on Winburn Drive, the mother-to-be had gotten an ultrasound of her baby, Jakobe. She posted on Facebook, “So happy I got to see my nugget.”
“It would have been my first grandchild, first boy in my family,” Coleman said. “I helped name him.”
At the appointment Wednesday, the doctor told Maryiah that she was so small the baby was running out of room, Coleman said. Jakobe had already dropped and turned downward.
“I said, ‘Honey, you’re not even going to make it to October. I give you three weeks before you have him,’” Coleman said.
Maryiah was determined to have her son when he was due, though, in mid-October.
“She loved Halloween so much,” Coleman said. “She called him her little Halloween baby.”
Maryiah had talked about decorating Jakobe’s room. She’d talked about elephants and giraffes, yellows and grays, Coleman said. She’d been given a rocking chair so she could rock Jakobe in his room.
“We were all just so excited,” Coleman said. “It just hurts. It’s so painful.”
Maryiah also had planned to go back to school in the spring. She worked at Xerox as a customer care assistant, according to her Facebook page.
“She had so many goals, just because her son gave her the inspiration,” Coleman said.
Coleman wants someone to tell police how and why her daughter didn’t live to accomplish those goals.
Maryiah had been texting her sister about 10:15 p.m. Wednesday, just minutes before she was shot, Coleman said. Maryiah texted that she was outside walking the family dog, Niq.
About 10:30 p.m., Lexington police received a call of shots fired. Officers found Maryiah on the ground with a single gunshot wound to the upper body, police spokeswoman Brenna Angel said Thursday.
Minutes later, Maryiah’s boyfriend heard Niq clawing and barking at the apartment door, her mom said. He opened the door, saw the distressed dog, and went outside, where he found Maryiah being worked on by paramedics, Coleman said.
Investigators have only vague descriptions of possible suspects, police said. Despite her family’s contention that she was walking the dog, the police say the events leading up to Maryiah’s death are unclear. Investigators are hoping someone will come forward with information about what may have happened.
“I don’t understand why no one wants to stand up for what’s right and make this right,” said Coleman, Maryiah’s mother. “Anyone who knows anything and isn’t saying anything is just as guilty as the person that killed her.”
Maryiah’s mother, family and friends marched down Winburn Drive Thursday night and had a vigil in her memory.
“I told the people in the neighborhood if you’ve seen anything speak up, we deserve the truth,” Coleman said. “I want justice for my child, my grandchild.”
Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact police at 859-258-3600. Anonymous tips, including photos and videos, can be submitted by texting “LEXPD” plus the tip to 274637. Information also can be sent anonymously through Bluegrass Crime Stoppers at 859-253-2020 or Bluegrasscrimestoppers.com.
Donations can be made to a GoFundMe fund set up for the family or through Winburn Drive Baptist Church, where Maryiah was a member. To make donations at the church, ask for Pastor David Ravizee or call 859-433-8001, Coleman said.