A Harlem mother was fatally shot after she and her fiance confronted a man who had just groped her on the street.
Police are still searching for the gunman.
Shadina Smith left her apartment on W. 150th St. near Frederick Douglass Blvd. about 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 16, then rushed back to tell her boyfriend that a man had grabbed her, authorities said.
The 26-year-old fiance and Smith, 29, went outside and confronted the groper, sparking an argument that led to gunfire.
The couple was caught in a hail of bullets inside the first-floor hallway of their apartment building, cops said.
The fiance was hit in the chest and left arm and Smith was struck three times in the chest.
Both were taken to Harlem Hospital, where Smith died. Her fiance has since been released from the hospital.
Detectives found shell casings outside the building, leading them to believe that the gunman fired from outside the building. He has not been caught.
“It’s been a horrific nightmare situation,” said her aunt, Corine Booker, 33, of Virginia. Booker’s 52-year-old brother is Smith’s father, and the two women grew close in part because they were so close in age.
Smith leaves behind a one-and-a-half year old son, Uriel, Booker said.
“She was very invested in her son and his future. I hate that he won’t be able to know how wonderful and how resilient she was. She did not pout,” she said. “We just want to make sure to give him all that love.”
Booker said she heard Smith’s fiance’s account of what happened, and it gave her chills.
“Was she in pain, what was she thinking before she died? Was she cold?” Booker asked.
Booker described her niece as a “blazing light” with a caring and nurturing spirit.
“She was completely outgoing and full of life. She always had a really big smile on her face. She had a contagious spirit. She could get along with everybody,” she said. “Everybody feels close to her, everybody was her best friend, everybody loved her. People really loved Shadina because she loved people.”
She added, “Sometimes not all bright lights can shine for a long time.”
What an unfortunate, tragic, situation. RIP Shadina.