Pregnant Calif. Mom Fatally Shot in Car in Front of Her Son and Mom: 'Precious, Smart Young Lady'
Two months pregnant, 19-year-old Sereinat'e Henderson was driving her baby boy, her mother and two siblings through Berkeley, California, at about 7 p.m. Wednesday when two other cars suddenly appeared to box her in.
"It was a black car that pulled up behind us and a white car that pulled up on the side of us," her mother, Salima Wyrick, told TV station KGO, "and the white car pulled up on the side of us and just opened up fire."
Twenty-two gunshots hit the vehicle, police told Wyrick. Henderson -- whose first name is pronounced "Serenity" -- was struck once in the head and died soon afterward at a hospital, her family said.
Miraculously, none of the others in the vehicle who witnessed her shooting were hurt.
Police are searching for the assailant or assailants.
"I just need some answers," says Wyrick. "I just want to know who would want to take a precious, smart young lady from her family."
Berkeley City Councilmember Ben Bartlett, after meeting with the family at the scene, said, “This should never happen to anyone, let alone a pregnant mother,” reports KNTV. “By all accounts she was a lovely person. They said she was very charming and loved life.”
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Henderson's mother-in-law, who asked to be identified only by the initial "K" due to the unknown circumstances of the shooting, said Henderson had undergone an ultrasound test only the previous day.
“She was a little thing but she had the biggest spirit,” said K, reports Berkeleyside.com.
“It just doesn’t make sense,” she said.
Henderson and the father of her children were high school sweethearts who had met at a party when Henderson was just 14. “They were each other’s first love,” said K. “They grew up together and had my grandson. And they were about to have another one.”
Todd Walker, a longtime Berkeley resident who has been recognized for his efforts working with youth in the community, and who knows Henderson's mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, added that he's known the victim since she was born.
“Sweet as she can be,” he told Berekeleyside.com.
Police ask anyone with information to call 510-981-5741.