A young mother has been shot dead in South Bend, Indiana, just days after burying her own 5-year-old son who was killed in an accidental shooting.
The killing of Kaylynn Davidson, 32, was the city’s fourth homicide in just six days, and has shaken up not just family and friends but those whose job it is to protect the city. “I don’t know if I have any tears left,” said Scott Ruszkowski, South Bend police chief.
The Davidson family tragedy began on May 1, when 5-year-old Kyler Davidson was accidentally shot by his 9-year-old cousin.
Young Kyler was laid to rest last Thursday, with a local councilman, Canneth Lee, acting as lead pastor and helping the family through their grief.
On Tuesday night, Davidson was shot outside the city’s Linden Grill after an apparent argument in the downtown restaurant. She died shortly after arriving at a local hospital.
“They have had three tragedies: Kyler, the nephew, and now Kyler’s mom,” Pastor Lee told WNDU News Now of the tragic series of events.
A 26-year-old woman, Kimarie Wright, has been arrested as a suspect in Kaylynn Davidson’s killing, which came after police were called in response to a fight in the restaurant.
Chief Ruszkowski told WSBT that the victim and suspect knew each other and even though people tried to break up the fight, it ended in a shooting.
“You have the Davidson family now that’s doubly affected, that’s still reeling from a five-year-old being killed, and now we have this on top of it all. I can’t even imagine or fathom what that family is going to have to contend with from here on out,” said Ruszkowski.
The issue of gun violence and wider community relations in South Bend, which has a population of just 16,000, came into national focus after South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg made his unlikely bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination and was forced to defend his record on issues such as race.
Mayor Pete, as he was known, stepped down at the last election and now serves as transportation secretary in the Biden Cabinet. A former aide, James Mueller, was elected to replace him and is now trying to get a grip on a gun crisis that has seen nine deaths so far this year.
“It’s hard to believe that just senseless violence is compounding trauma from previous trauma. We have to break the cycle as soon as possible,” Mueller told WSBT. “This isn’t fate. This is something we can choose to do. We can come together as a community and put an end to this.”
“It’s OK to disagree, it’s OK to have some opinions that get emotionally heated, but you can’t bring guns to those. You have to figure out how to resolve these issues peacefully,” he added.