Indianapolis, IN – A young mother was fatally shot after she yelled “All Lives Matter” during a verbal altercation with a group on July 5, according to her family.
The incident occurred at approximately 3 a.m., as 24-year-old Jessica Doty Whitaker and her fiancé, Jose Ramirez, were chatting with friends on the Indianapolis Canal Walk, WTHR reported.
According to Ramirez, someone in their group used a slang version of the “n-word,” which drew the attention of a nearby group, WXIN reported.
The group yelled out “Black Lives Matter,” at which point Whitaker responded, “All Lives Matter,” according to The Daily Wire.
The group that yelled “Black Lives Matter” pulled out a gun, which prompted Ramirez to pull his gun, he told WXIN. After both sides displayed weapons, they separated.
They even “fist-bumped” before going their separate ways, according to Ramirez.
“It was squashed and they went up the hill and left, we thought, but they were sitting on St. Clair waiting for us to come under the bridge,” he told WXIN.
When Whitaker and Ramirez’s group neared the bridge, someone opened fire on them.
Whitaker was fatally wounded in the attack.
“I was actually holding her when it happened,” Ramirez told WTHR. “She just fell. I turned around, and I opened fire too. But that’s just a reaction. I didn’t see nobody. I didn’t hopefully I didn’t hit nobody.”
Whitaker leaves behind a three-year-old son.
“She shouldn’t have lost her life. She’s got a 3-year-old son she loved dearly,” Ramirez told WXIN. “It’s hard to tell him his mom is in heaven and if you want to talk to her you have to look up and say, ‘I love you mom.’”
Ramirez said he wants justice for Whitaker and for her little boy, WTHR reported.
“He’s got a mom he probably won’t even remember when he gets older,” he said.
The investigation into Whitaker’s murder is ongoing, and no arrests have been made, WTHR reported.
Whitaker’s death was the third time someone had been shot in the area of the canal during a one-week period, according to WXIN.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Captain Jerry Leary told WTHR that additional officers will be on patrol along the canal to help fight the recent uptick in violent crime.
“Just recently the DMD is hiring two overtime officers to work the canal during those times nightly,” Capt. Leary said.
The department has also installed security cameras throughout the area.
A fundraising page established to help Whitaker’s young son has raised over $63,400 so far.