Smeared bloodstains mark a symbol of what should have served as the beginning of baby Davon Scott Jr.’s life.
His mother’s handprint can still be seen on the box of a light-blue stroller purchased for her unborn son. She grasped the box just before she bled to death.
The father, Davon Scott, can’t help but cry at the irony.
“There’s blood all over the box,” he said. “We just bought it for the baby. She left her mark; she let us know that’s hers.”
The stroller was among the gifts that should have been opened during a baby shower scheduled for Saturday. Instead, mother and son will be laid to rest that day in a dark beige casket with cream-colored lining.
Angelese Ladson, 29, eight months pregnant, was shot in the neck June 26 during a drive-by shooting just after midnight. Three men pulled up and fired several shots toward the home at 18048 NW 40th Pl. in Miami Gardens.
Ladson died at the scene, police said. Paramedics rushed her body to Jackson Memorial Hospital, but by the time the baby was pulled from his mother’s womb, he, too, was dead.
“They will be buried together,” said Ladson’s mother, Sharron Ladson. “Mother and son; he will be wrapped and put in her arms.”
Ladson will wear a turquoise, mid-sleeve, pleated top, with a black, knee length skirt along with a black and brown belt.
“Baby DJ,” as the family refers to the child, will be wrapped in a blue blanket that bears his stitched initials.
“My sister was always in my closet . . . so I know she would have wanted me to pick out her outfit,” said Ladson’s older sister, Traveotta Sheffield, 31, as she glanced with moist eyes toward the closet. “I didn’t want her wearing black. She was a colorful , bright person. I need to make sure my sister goes to heaven looking amazing.”
Investigators said they have no leads or persons of interest in the shooting. No one on either side of the family has a criminal record, and relatives have no idea why the house was targeted. Ladson was on maternity leave from her job as a customer service agent for AT&T. Scott, a former UPS driver, is currently unemployed.
The gunmen were last seen driving a four-door, silver Toyota Camry. The slain woman’s family members said there would be extra security at the wake and funeral.
Joseph Zellner, the lead detective on the case, said the department is “desperate” for answers.
“That night we only got one valuable tip from a caller — the type of car they were driving,” he said. “We are patrolling the home every night and passing out missing-persons fliers.”
Two shell casings were found at the scene — one from a large-caliber handgun and one from a rifle, Zellner said.
“Someone knows something, and they need to speak up,” he said.
The night of the shooting, Ladson was standing on her boyfriend’s porch with her friend Krystal Tillman when the shots were fired. Ladson was handing Tillman an invitation to her baby shower. Tillman was shot in the leg and remains at Jackson Memorial Hospital in stable condition.
Prior to the shooting, “that night was a good night,” Scott said. “She glowed. She was pregnant and so happy. It was a family day.”