The father of an 11-month-old boy left clinging to life after a Philadelphia shooting used the tot as a “human shield” to thwart off a potential angry drug dealer, prosecutors said in a new report.
Yaseem Munir Jenkins was struck in the head, neck and buttocks while in the back seat of a moving car in the city’s Hunting Park section on October 19.
Authorities said at the time that Yaseem’s father, Nafes Monroe, his stepmother and another man were also in the car when shots suddenly rang out.
Now, Monroe — who was previously taken into custody on a probation violation — has been arrested in connection to the shooting, the city’s district attorney’s office announced Tuesday. He faces charges of recklessly endangering another person and endangering the welfare of a child, according to WPVI.
“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, of the district attorney’s office, told the outlet. “And this was not the first instance of Mr. Monroe using counterfeit money.
“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 added. “A human shield is probably the term that I would use.”
Voci noted that Monroe did not bring his gravely wounded son to the hospital right away.
“He… 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,” he added.
At the time, Police Captain Nicholas Brown said there is “no chance for full recovery” for Yaseem, and if he survives, “he’ll most likely be quadriplegic.”
The alleged shooter, Francisco Ortiz, has been charged with attempted murder, CBS Philadelphia reported. Ortiz is also accused of being involved in another local crime.
Police say that the gun used to kill 2-year-old Nikolette Rivera inside her home less than 24 hours later and about two miles away was given to the suspects by Ortiz, according to the report.