‘My child was not a dog or a rodent’: Grieving mom seeks info on daughter and best friend shot dead on NJ street

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NEW YORK — Two New Jersey mothers who lost their daughters in a drive-by shooting late Halloween night 2017 begged viewers for information, during a Monday appearance on PIX11 Facebook Live, the “Mary Murphy Files.”

“When they killed her, they left her in the street,” Dottie Brown said of her 24-year old daughter, Shaniqua Richardson. “My child was not a dog or a rodent.”

Shaniqua’s 2-year-old daughter, Tiana, played on her grandmother’s lap in PIX11’s Social Media Center, as Dottie Brown joined the mother of Rah-Zhane Lee, who was 22 when she was killed in the early minutes of Nov. 1, 2017.

Richardson and Lee were best friends. Family members said the two women had been sleeping at Richardson’s home in Elizabeth, when a cousin summoned Shaniqua and Rah-Zhane to walk with him and two other men to a Halloween party.

“My aunt always threw a Halloween party,” Dottie Brown noted.

When the group of three men and two women were walking back home near Jackson Park, a dark-colored sedan sped by and someone inside started spraying bullets. The two women were hit by the gunfire near 2nd and Court Streets.

“My nephew, he said he doesn’t know anything,” Dottie Brown said. “I know he left my daughter and Rah-Zhane on the ground. Instead of him calling the police, he calls my son and says Shaniqua was shot.”

The two women died from their gunshot wounds. More than a year later, there’s been no arrests in the case.

Shaniqua was buried, but Rah-Zhane’s remains were cremated; her mother and two sisters carry her ashes in small gold vials they wear around their necks.

When speaking about the lack of information being given to police, Kendra Lee Carey, Rah-Zhane’s mom, observed, “I don’t understand how they can be afraid when their life is always in danger.”

Carey added, “They claim there’s no gang problem in New Jersey but there very much is.”

Shaniqua Richardson and Rah-Zhane Lee were killed in a section of the city called Port Elizabeth and when Rah-Zhane’s mother was asked about gang activity, she said “I’ve heard the Bloods and the Crips.”

On the one year anniversary of the fatal shootings, the Union County Prosecutor’s Office put out a press release asking for new details in the case.

There’s a reward of up to $10,000 for information that leads to an arrest and indictment. Anonymous tips can be submitted by phone to (908) 654-TIPS (8477).

The Union County Homicide Task Force is working with the Elizabeth Police Department. Anyone with information is urged to call Sgt. Johnny Ho at (908) 403-8271 or Detective William Guy at (908) 527-4648.

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