A young Indiana mother was shot dead in front of her fiancé after she reportedly told a group of Black Lives Matter supporters ‘all lives matter’ over Fourth of July weekend.
Jessica Doty Whitaker, 24, was taking a stroll with her fiancé, Jose Ramirez, and two others near the Indianapolis Canal Walk around 3am on July 5.
Ramirez says that the four of them were hanging out when one of them used a slang version of the n-word, Fox 59 reports.
But a group of people nearby, reportedly comprised of four men and one woman, objected to hearing the phrase and a confrontation ensued between the two sets of strangers.
Jessica Doty Whitaker (pictured) was shot dead in the early morning of July 5 after she and a group of friends got into an argument with another group
Whitaker (pictured) was a home health nurse and had a three-year-old son named Greyson
During the argument, the offended individuals reportedly shouted ‘Black Lives Matter’, to which either Whitaker or someone else responded ‘All Lives Matter.’
Robert Doty, the victim’s father, confirmed with the Daily Wire that his daughter said ‘all lives matter’ during the exchange.
Ramirez said both groups brandished guns at each other, but eventually talked through the issues, fist bumped and walked away from each other.
‘It was squashed and they went up the hill and left we thought, but they were sitting on St. Clair waiting for us to come under the bridge and that’s when she got shot,’ said Ramirez.
Robert Doty, Jessica Doty Whitaker’s father, confirmed that she said ‘all lives matter’ during the confrontation after someone in the other group said ‘Black lives matter’
Ramirez (pictured with Whitaker): ‘Just justice. For us, mostly for [Greyson]. He’s got a mom he probably won’t even remember when he gets older’
Ramirez (left) said he was holding Whitaker (right) when a suspect allegedly shot at them from a nearby bridge before fleeing the scene
Whitaker (pictured) had plans to attend school in August and was going to marry Ramirez next year
A suspect reportedly began shooting from a nearby bridge and fled the scene shortly after.
Ramirez told WTHR that he had his arms around Whitaker when she was fatally struck.
‘I was actually holding her when it happened. She just fell,’ he said.
He admits that he opened fire back at the suspects, but said it was ‘just a reaction.’
‘I didn’t see nobody. I didn’t hopefully I didn’t hit nobody.’
Whitaker was rushed to a local hospital where she succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead.
‘I’m never going to get to hold her again,’ the victim’s mother, Arlena Doty, said. ‘I just want the people who are responsible to be held accountable.’
Before her death, Whitaker was a home health nurse who planned to attend school in August and get married next year.
She leaves behind a three-year-old son named Greyson.
‘Just justice. For us, mostly for him. He’s got a mom he probably won’t even remember when he gets older,’ said Ramirez.
Ramirez, when speaking to Fox 59, was overcome with emotions and became tearful when speaking about his fiancée.
Pictured (left to right); Jessica Doty Whitaker, Jose Ramirez and Greyson
Ramirez: [Jessica Doty Whitaker]shouldn’t have lost her life She’s got a 3-year-old son she loved dearly, It’s hard to tell him his mom is in heaven and if you want to talk to her you have to look up and say, ‘I love you mom’
‘She shouldn’t have lost her life. She’s got a 3-year-old son she loved dearly, It’s hard to tell him his mom is in heaven and if you want to talk to her you have to look up and say, ‘I love you mom.”
He added: ‘We’re going through a lot. The 3-year-old boy doesn’t even understand really.’
Whitaker’s is one of three deaths along the canal last week, and one of several that occurred at the hands of gun violence over Fourth of July weekend.
Indianapolis residents have called for city officials to make the area safer, and Ramirez questioned why a curfew hasn’t been implemented at the downtown attraction.
‘Our message is that the canal is still a safe place to go,’ said Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Capt. Jerry Leary.
Authorities released footage via Fox 59 of potential suspects at the scene that morning.
A GoFundMe page has been created to cover Whitaker’s funeral costs and raising her son. It has already garnered nearly $35,000. The fundraiser has a goal of $1million.
‘Jessica, was a wonderful mother, sister, daughter, fiancée, friend, aunt, cousin and coworker,’ an accompanying message read.
‘Loved by many and will surely be missed by many.. She made sure everyone around her was happy before she was . She does not deserve this.’
On Facebook, Robert Doty has shared several gut wrenching messages after his daughter’s unexpected death, as well as #JusticeforJessica.
‘Have you ever missed someone so much that event he thought of them made you cry?’ one photo he shared said,
‘I’m so emotionally lost,’ another photo read. ‘I love you, baby girl.’
On Tuesday, Doty revealed that he got a tattoo of his daughter’s name on his upper right back. ‘Ok I did a thing,’ he wrote on Facebook.
Robert Doty, the father of Jessica Doty Whitaker, got a tattoo of his daughter’s name last week after she died
Family members have called for the Black Lives Matter movement to labelled a terrorist group, echoing a similar Sunday statement from President Trump-loyalist Rudy Giuliani.
In one Facebook post, Doty responds to one woman’s demand that ‘BLM be labeled a terrorist organization,’ by saying ‘I totally agree.’
Anyone with information about the shooting should call the IMPD Homicide Office at 317-327-3475 or Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-8477 or (TIPS).
The Fourth of July weekend saw several shootings and deaths as gun violence overshadowed the typically joyful holiday.
In New York City at least four people were killed and 37 were injured in shootings during July 4th revelry. Police are pictured at the scene where a 23-year-old man was killed in Harlem
In New York City, at least 41 people were shot, six fatally, in shootings overnight, police said.
A 21-year-old man died after he was shot in the chest at about 12.45am Sunday in Brownsville, Brooklyn.
Less than two hours later a 23-year-old man was shot in the back in Harlem before being rushed to the hospital.
A 40-year-old man was fatally shot in the chest on Sutter Avenue in Brooklyn.
In another incident, a 19-year-old was shot in the chest and a 27-year-old was shot in the shoulder in East Flatbush. The 19-year-old was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
NYC: Police officers and witnesses stand near where a 23-year-old man was shot dead in Harlem hours after Independence Day celebrations wound down
Meanwhile, one of the children killed in Chicago was identified by her family as seven-year-old Natalie Wallace.
The girl was playing outside her grandmother’s house in the city’s Austin neighborhood during a Fourth of July party when a vehicle pulled up and three men emerged and began shooting indiscriminately at about 7pm.
Natalie was shot in the head and rushed to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead, according to the Chicago Tribune.
‘Chicago’s heart is broke,’ Chicago police Chief Fred Waller said. ‘A 7-year-old girl was taken from us. She was here visiting family. Now she’s gone.’
Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted: ‘Tonight, a 7-year-old girl in Austin joined a list of teenagers and children whose hopes and dreams were ended by the barrel of a gun.
‘We cannot grow numb to this. We are making progress in slowing shootings, but we have to do better, every single one of us.’