Nafes Monroe's son, Yaseem, was shot four times — including once in the head — during an alleged drug deal gone bad

By Chris Harris
November 14, 2019 12:06 PM
Nafes Monroe
Credit: Philadelphia Police Department

A 25-year-old father has been accused by Philadelphia police of using his infant son as a “human shield” during a shooting last month that left the baby clinging to life after he was struck by four bullets.

Authorities held a press conference this week, alleging a shooting in the Hunting Park section of the city followed a drug deal gone bad.

Police allege Nafes Monroe bought drugs using counterfeit cash. They further allege he drove to the deal — and other drug transactions prior to the October 19 shooting — with his son, Yaseem Munir Jenkins, on purpose.

“It’s our belief and our investigation has led us to believe that he intentionally had his child with him when he was making such types of purchases with the idea or belief that if someone saw that he had a child in the car, that they would not fire upon him,” explained Anthony Voci, Homicide Unit Chief with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.

“A human shield is probably the term that I would use.”

Voci said Yaseem was in the back seat of a car that was fired upon last month. Also in the car was Monroe, the baby’s stepmother and another man who has not been identified.

Four bullets struck Yaseem, who was shot in the head.

“He was using counterfeit money to purchase drugs, knowing that counterfeit money is something that is very upsetting to drug dealers, and when they find out that they’re being burned with counterfeit money, they act violently,” Voci alleged. “And this was not the first instance of Mr. Monroe using counterfeit money.”

Yaseem remains in an intensive care unit at a nearby hospital.

Voci alleged that after the shooting, Monroe hesitated in bringing his boy to the hospital, potentially depriving him of the care he needed at a critical time.

“He also was the individual that was not only in the car with his child in harm’s way, but drove the child to a house rather than taking him to a hospital immediately, then dropped his child off at the hospital and never looked back,” said Voci.

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A family spokesperson released a statement last month on behalf of Yaseem’s mother, reading, “My son is fighting for his life and it is not fair. He’s innocent, so precious, and his smile will brighten up anyone’s day. He’s such a bubbly kid. So loving and lovable. How could anyone be so heartless! Please do the right thing and help us find some form of closure or answers in this tragic situation. Help us find the shooter.”

It continues: “I can’t eat or sleep. I need justice for my baby … For the coward who did this to him, you will pay, even if it not today or tomorrow. God will handle you accordingly.”

Monroe was charged Tuesday with reckless endangering another person and endangering the welfare of a child.

It was unclear if he has entered pleas to those charges, or has a lawyer who can comment on the allegations.

The alleged gunman, Francisco Ortiz, 29, is facing charges of attempted murder. PEOPLE could not determine if he has entered pleas to the charges against him or if he has retained an attorney.