It was shortly after 1 a.m. when Gerard Ladson held his daughter?s lifeless body.
He closed his eyes, squeezed her and the shape of her unborn child.
?I told her to fight. Like she always did. She?s a fighter.?
It was too late.
Angelese Ladson, 29 and eight months pregnant, died from a bullet to the neck just after midnight Tuesday in an apparent drive-by shooting in Miami Gardens. She was on her boyfriend?s porch with a friend when she was struck down.
As Ladson and friend Krystal Tillman chatted, a car with three men pulled up and several shots exploded toward the home at 18048 NW 40th Pl., Miami Gardens police spokesman Bill Bamford said.
Paramedics worked furiously to save mother and child. Ladson and her unborn baby died at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
?When I saw my daughter dead I was hoping for like in the movies, that they would bring her back, ? her father said. ?But it ain?t a movie.?
Tillman was shot in the leg but is expected to be OK. Family members said they heard about four gunshots. No one inside the home was harmed.
Bullet holes can be seen in the windows. Bamford said two different types of shell casings were found at the scene.
"Everybody hit the floor,? Makela Scott said. She is the mother of Ladson?s boyfriend. ?Angie ran inside the house saying, ?Mama.? But she stopped in the hallway and dropped to her knees.?
?I?m living a dream ? she is still here, and I?m trying to wake up.?
Davon Scott, Ladson? boyfriend and father of the baby, said he was too ?crushed to talk about what happened.?
Ladson?s father said he is going to miss her persistent phone calls.
?She would call me 8, 9, 10 times a day, just to see how everything is going,? Gerard Ladson said. ?I?m always busy working so the times I wouldn?t pick up, she would get mad. Those are the things you take for granted."
Sharron Ladson, Ladson?s mother, described her daughter?s killers as ?inhumane.?
?They are monsters,? she said. ?My daughter was very, very pregnant. They didn?t just kill my daughter, but they killed my grandson. Two for one. Not an accident, but murder.?
Ladson?s baby shower was planned for the first week of July. Her baby boy was due mid-August.
?She just finished getting her maternity leave from work,? Sharron Ladson said. ?My grandbaby was going to be named after his father, Davon Scott Jr.?
Ladson, who was a customer service agent, leaves behind her 6-year-old daughter, who Gerard Ladson says was excited about having a sibling.
?The baby is all she would talk about,? he said of her granddaughter. ?He would kiss her mama?s stomach, just waiting on her baby brother.?
The 6-year-old girl will remain with her grandparents and father. They broke the news to her shortly after the shooting.
?She knows it?s a plan that God has,? Gerard Ladson said. ?Maybe it?s a plan that will make her a super crime fighter or genius or something. We just don?t know.?
Police are still looking for the shooters. They were last seen driving a four-door silver Toyota Camry. Bamford, the police spokesman, said detectives are looking for three men between the ages of 18 and 25. There is no known motive.
The Ladson family said they are in need of donations for a funeral.
Ladson?s mother fears having to ?live off the memories.?
?She ferociously craved butter pecan ice cream,? she said as she chuckled amid the tears. ?And on Saturday, she woke me up at 7:30 a.m. begging me to make her my famous potatoes.
?I?m glad I made them.?
To donate to the Ladson family, one can go to any Bank of America and make a deposit to account #005568614454, under the name Angelese Ladson. You can also contact the family at firstname.lastname@example.org