POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. — Felicia Petteway was holding a poster with a picture of her murdered son outside the Poughkeepsie Police Department a year ago this September when she got an anonymous text message about the shooting that took her son's life.
“They waited for David to put his daughter back in the car,” the texter said, “before they came up and killed him.”
That was just one of several pieces of information offered by the texter.
Two weeks before, on Sept. 9, 2014, David Reed’s 5-year-old daughter Dah-lasia was playing with cousins and friends outside a house at 129 Garden St. in Poughkeepsie when her father put her in the backseat of a friend’s car, parked at the curb. Her dad sat in the front passenger seat.
Then, suddenly, gunfire rang out.
The shooter’s face was covered.
“Dad got shot in the chest and then the stomach,” Dah-lasia, now 6, recalled stoically.
She gestured to both sites on her little body.
“As soon as I hear the gunshot, I was sitting back,” Dah-lasia said, showing PIX11 how she laid back on the seat. “Daddy said, ‘I’m dying, Mu Mu,’” using his nickname for his oldest child.
The little girl did not see the person who shot her dad. David Reed, 23, was pronounced dead at Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital. He left behind five children -- 6 years of age or younger, including twin boys.
Reed’s mother said a month before the shooting, her son finished production on a hip-hop video with his group Spready Gang.
As a teen, Reed had one arrest for drug possession, Felicia Petteway said, but in young adulthood, he was hoping to break into the music business.
The person who sent the text message gave clues about the shooter’s identity. There was reference to jealousy being a motive. Reed had been involved with the ex-girlfriend of one person named in the text.
There was talk about a robbery, but Petteway said detectives told her that her son was not suspected in any robbery before his slaying.
“As of right now, we’re not getting a lot of cooperation from the people that were there,” said Sgt. George Camacho, of the Poughkeepsie Police Department’s Detective Squad. “We believe there were a large amount of people there. We believe (Reed) was targeted.”
Petteway said she later found out the text came from someone using a WiFi number -- and she is trying to find inspiration from another mother whose son was fatally shot in Poughkeepsie.
Tora Deloatch lost her son to gunfire Aug. 29, 2013.
Her son, Michael, was dying in a taxi cab when he identified the shooter by his street name: S.P.
Deloatch took to the streets of Poughkeepsie, hoping to get more information. On Oct. 9, 2013, her son’s shooter was apprehended outside a deli in Poughkeepsie. Sean Hibbert had been paroled from prison 20 days before the shooting. He had a tattoo with the initials S.P. on the left side of his neck.
Petteway, who takes care of mentally challenged children at Cardinal Hayes Home upstate, said she won’t stop seeking her son’s killer.
Dah-lasia was brave when she told the story of what happened that day — but later sobbed when she heard her dad’s voice from his last hip-hop video called “The Purge.”
Her younger sister, Myshyne, patted her back protectively.
“Give Nana a kiss,” Petteway told the little gir, then told PIX11, “Her mother says she has her nights. She wakes up screaming, crying for her dad.”