CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Police said the teenage accused of injuring a pregnant 19-year-old and her baby during a drive-by shooting outside an arcade in northwest Charlotte turned himself into police on Friday, July 5.
Police identified 16-year-old Raquan Smith as the shooter. He is being charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury.
Officers said Alani Blake and her baby girl are expected to survive after suffering life-threatening injuries. They are being treated at Atrium Health's Carolinas Medical Center.
In an emergency C-section, Alani prematurely delivered her baby girl, Se'khani, who weighed only 2 pounds and 7 ounces at birth.
CMPD said the drive-by shooting happened around 6 p.m. on June 22 outside the Busy Arcade on Beatties Ford Road.
We’re told Alani has had several surgeries and will have to learn to walk again.
"She will need time to heal, recover and regain her own strength," family friend Carol Caudle said.
Now, she must prepare for motherhood alongside piling medical bills.
Alani's mother, Carlesta, said she already works three jobs to help support her family. One of those jobs is at the Vine UMC day care.
Parents said Carlesta has been a caretaker for so many families for so many years, and they want the chance to care for her.
"That consistency and stability and love that she has given to me and my children is irreplaceable, and that's what I wanted to give back to her,” Caudle said.
Parents at the day care created a GoFundMe page.
The hope is to raise money that will help the family afford in-home care on top of the every day costs of a newborn.
“Going through the fear of losing your grandkid and your child all in one moment of senseless violence,” Caudle said.
CMPD homicide detectives said they have been reviewing surveillance video and interviewing witnesses, but they have not said what may have led to the shooting.
A police report obtained by Channel 9 shows there may have been a total of three suspects involved.
Community members told Channel 9's Stephanie Tinoco they are frustrated by this violent act and hope witnesses come forward to help police catch the person responsible.
"I know somebody knows something," Arlene Turnbuno said. "Just say something. You don't have to give your name, just say what happened."
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