ST. LOUIS — A 7-year-old girl who was fatally shot along with her father in the Central West End of St. Louis was described by her family Monday as an "old soul" and a straight-A student who loved helping her grandmother cook.
"I'm just sitting here hoping that my heart just stops," Yolanda Johns, the grandmother of Dmyah Fleming, said as she broke down in tears on her front porch.
Dmyah and her father, who family members identified as Darrion Fleming, 26, were inside his parked car in the 4000 block of Laclede Avenue around 8 p.m. Sunday when someone came up to the car and shot them both. Fleming was declared dead at the scene and Dmyah was taken to a hospital where she succumbed to her injuries. Police believe the shooter may have known the victims.
"If they knew (her father) then they knew her, and they knew how she was," Johns said. "She was the sweetest baby doll. If she was standing right here, she'd probably be able to stand and talk and communicate with you better than I'm doing right now."
Family members said Fleming was about to drop off Dmyah at her grandmother's house when they were shot.
The girl's father was "in love and obsessed with Dmyah," her grandmother said. "That was his first child ... his whole life centered on Dmyah. He'd never put her in harm's way."
A reward of up to $30,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest in the killings. The city of St. Louis is offering $15,000, CrimeStoppers is offering $10,000, and the Central West End Neighborhood Security Initiative is offering an additional $5,000.
Police said Dmyah lived on Famous Avenue, in The Hill neighborhood, but the girl's great aunt, Selena Johns, told the Post-Dispatch on Monday that Dmyah lived with her mother off Germania Street near Interstate 55.
Earlier this month a man was charged with killing a University City woman in a car while her 8-month-old daughter was in the backseat. The infant was unharmed.
Also earlier this month a Bridgeton woman killed her 3-year-old daughter before fatally shooting herself.
A previous version of this story is below.
ST. LOUIS — A man and his 7-year-old daughter were killed following a shooting in the Central West End on Sunday evening, according to police and the victims' family members.
Police responded to the shooting at 8 p.m. in the 4000 block of Laclede Avenue and found an unidentified man dead at the scene. The girl was identified by police Monday as 7-year-old Dmyah Fleming. She died at a hospital.
Police said Dmyah lived on Famous Avenue, in The Hill neighborhood, but the girl's great aunt, Selena Johns, told the Post-Dispatch on Monday that Dmyah lived with her mother off of Germania Street near Interstate 55.
Dmyah and her father, who was in his 20s, were both shot inside a parked vehicle. Police did not provide a motive.
Dmyah's grandmother Yolanda Johns, who lives on Famous Avenue, said her granddaughter was a bright child who was eager to help with cooking and other tasks. Dmyah was an "old soul" and the two talked openly and frankly on most any topic, Johns said.
Police say Dmyah and her father may have known the killer, police said.
There are several popular bars and restaurants on the block where the shooting happened.
A neighbor, Jessica Ho, said she heard seven shots, then a pause and a couple more shots outside her window.
"I live in the city ... but this is too much," she said.
St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson mentioned the double homicide on Twitter, saying she was "absolutely heartbroken" by the deaths, "especially this young child caught up in a deadly dispute among adults."
Absolutely heartbroken tonight over the senseless killings of these two people — especially this young child caught up in a deadly dispute among adults. Prayers to their families and my thanks to @SLMPD investigators working the case. Tragic!https://t.co/u6DAnbiNCa— Mayor Lyda Krewson (@LydaKrewson) January 25, 2021