A Philadelphia father has been accused of using his infant son as a human shield during a shooting last month that left the child fighting for his life.
On October 19th, Nafes Monroe took his young son, Yaseem Munir Jenkins, to a drug deal when it took a turn for the worse. The father and his child, along with the baby’s stepmother and an unidentified male, were in the car at the time. Monroe allegedly attempted to buy drugs with counterfeit cash, leading to the other party opening fire on the individuals in the car.
“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,” Anthony Voci, the Homicide Unit Chief with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, explained to the media People reports. “And this was not the first instance of Mr. Monroe using counterfeit money.”
However, what makes the incident even more disturbing is that Monroe reportedly used the baby as a “human shield” in order to protect himself from oncoming bullets. “A human shield is probably the term that I would use,” authorities told the media during a press conference. The infant, Jenkins, is believed to have been in the backseat at the time. The child was shot four times by bullets. Jenkins remains in intensive care at a nearby hospital.
Even more, the father was allegedly hesitant to bring his child to the hospital after the altercation for fear of being arrested. “[Monroe] 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,” Voci continued.
Authorities reveal it was not unusual for Monroe to take his infant son with him to drug deals. “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,” Voci explained.
A statement via a spokesperson has been released on behalf of the infant’s mother. “My son is fighting for his life and it is not fair,” it read. “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.”
Monroe has since been charged with reckless endangering another person as well as with endangering the welfare of a child. It is unclear if he is pleading guilty or denying the charges. The gunman, identified as 29-year old Francisco Ortiz, is facing charges for attempted murder.