Child dies after hit by car, driver assaulted

Child dies after hit by car, driver assaulted

OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) - Shana Moore cries out in pain, her anguish heartbreaking, as the young mother is comforted near a makeshift memorial to her 3-year old-son Ayden.

The toddler was hit by a car Saturday, Nov. 22 at about 2:30 p.m. as he played near his home. He died Sunday, Nov. 23 at 5:25 a.m. at Children's Healthcare Systems of Atlanta-Egelston. His body has been taken to the medical examiner's office in Montgomery, Ala. for a postmortem examination.

"Keep her in yall's prayers," said family friend Shanndora Greer. "Even Ayden because it is so sad how Ayden died, he was out here playing and... I can't say no more."

Ayden's little sister reaches for the balloons and toys left for him near Chester Avenue and Samford Court.

"He is very smart, outgoing little boy, very active cute little handsome boy," said Ayden's godmother Naesha Mitchell.

Police say several adults were watching Ayden, who was riding on a toy in the parking lot, when he was hit by 31-year-old Shakita Jones as she drove off in her Dodge Charger.

"Jones' vehicle was subsequently fired upon," said Captain Shane Healey with the Opelika Police Department. "Jones was not injured in the shooting, she suffered injuries from a physical altercation that happened after the shooting."

Police won't say if Jones was assaulted before or after she hit the child. Friends of Ayden's family say Jones was driving recklessly, and they won't say how Jones was injured or by who. 

"They said the girl, Nakita, had sped off and hit the baby and everybody tried to stop her and she wouldn't stop," Greer said.

So far, no charges have been filed. The case will be presented to a grand jury.

Meanwhile, the family is asking for prayers and support, and investigators are asking the community for answers. 

"We need them to provide us with info that can help us piece this together, so we can make the decisions we need to make as far as if anyone needs to be charged with a crime," Capt. Healey said.  

Police also report that Jones was injured prior to getting inside the vehicle and that her and the child are not related. The incidents leading up to the child being hit by the car Jones was in and the car being shot at are related. 

Jones is still being treated at Columbus Regional Medical Center where she is recovering with unknown injuries. 

There are still so many unanswered questions about what happened both before and after the little boy was hit. Anyone with any information is asked to call the Opelika Police Department Investigative Services Division at 334-705-5220 or the Secret Witness Hotline at 334-745-8665.

Meanwhile, Ayden's family and friends are holding a candlelight vigil in his honor Monday night at 6 p.m. central along Chester Avenue.  Everyone is invited to attend.

Further information will be forthcoming when it is available. Stay tuned to and News Leader 9 as this story develops. 

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