An innocent child has lost his life after an argument escalated into physical violence over the weekend.
Birmingham police responded to an apartment complex at 33rd Terrace North and F.L. Shuttlesworth Drive just shortly after 2:30pm today.
When they arrived they found a child, unresponsive, with a gunshot wound.
The little boy was taken to Children’s of Alabama for treatment of a reported gunshot wound to the head. Investigators later received information that the victim was pronounced dead by hospital staff.
Police and family identified him as 5-year-old Ta’Narius Moore Jr., affectionately known as TJ. His father and namesake, Ta’Narius Moore Sr., was shot to death in Collegeville on May 10, 2017.
TJ was in kindergarten and would have turned six in January. He played youth league football in Huffman and just hours before his death had been named an All-Star, said his paternal grandmother, Sherie Moore.
“He was a fun, loving guy,’’ Moore said. “He was just a little kid.”
According to reports, two female family members got into a verbal altercation that escalated. Both women drew weapons, fired and at least one of those bullets struck T.J.
Birmingham police Deputy Chief Scott Praytor said multiple people have been detained and they were still looking for others, including witnesses who may have fled following the gunfire.
"We’re talking to family members as we speak, trying to sort out what happened here,'' Praytor said.
Asked if the boy’s mother was involved, Praytor said, "We are speaking to the mother right now trying to find out exactly what happened out here,'' he said. “What I do know is that it’s always a terrible thing when you lose a child out in the street. That seems to be compounded during the holiday season. Nobody wants to see that, but when it’s a child who was with the person that they trust the most, and something like this happens, it’s heartbreaking.”
Although the child's mother has not made a public statement. T.J.'s stepfather, Carlos Walker (pictured tight), posted several photos of himself with T.J. calling him his "heart".
T.J.'s grandmother said in a statement that the loss of her grandson was heartbreaking. "I lost my son, and now I lost his junior,' said Sherie Moore. "It’s a hard pill to swallow. It’s just hard. It’s unexplainable."
This is absolutely senseless. Our hearts go out to T.J.'s family and the community who loved him.