Mother of slain 6-month-old finds peace knowing he saved other lives

Kerri Gray holds up a photo of her son at her Cumming home Tuesday. He was killed in a drive-by shooting. (Steve Schaefer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

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Kerri Gray holds up a photo of her son at her Cumming home Tuesday. He was killed in a drive-by shooting. (Steve Schaefer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

His tiny face looked perfect. Grayson Fleming-Gray looked like he was sleeping.

But the 6-month-old had been struck during a drive-by shooting and had already taken his final breath.

On Friday, Kerri Gray said it still doesn’t seem real that her baby is gone. On Monday afternoon, she had just stopped at an Atlanta corner store when shots were fired from an SUV speeding by, according to police. Grayson was the innocent victim, struck and killed by a bullet as he sat in his car seat.

It all happened so fast, Gray said. But through the tragedy was a glimmer of hope: Grayson’s organs could help save other babies.

“You can take from him whatever will help save somebody else and hopefully someone else will have a chance to hug their baby,” Gray told the staff at Grady Memorial Hospital. “I do believe that God had a bigger purpose for him and this will help someone’s little boy and girl.”

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Grayson Fleming-Gray was caught in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting in northwest Atlanta.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Grayson Fleming-Gray was caught in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting in northwest Atlanta.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

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Grayson Fleming-Gray was caught in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting in northwest Atlanta.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Gray stopped at the store, with her son in the back seat, shortly before 3 p.m. Monday. Two cars sped by and Gray heard a gunshot. Grayson hadn’t cried, but his mother knew immediately something was wrong when she picked him up. A frantic Gray called 911.

“My baby was shot in a drive-by!” Gray said to a 911 operator. “There was a drive-by, people were driving by and shooting and they got my baby, 6 months!”

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Other witnesses also called 911. And a retired firefighter quickly stepped in and started CPR on Grayson until paramedics arrived.

“He stayed right by his side pretty much the entire time,” Gray said. “Everything happened so fast, I didn’t get his name.”

In the days since Grayson’s death, Gray said she continues to be overwhelmed by the support shown to her and her family. Fundraisers were set up and countless people, including strangers, have offered money, meals, prayers and support. Willie A. Watkins Funeral Home declined to take payment after Gray picked out a tiny casket. And an Atlanta police officer met with her on his day off, telling the grieving mother he was there if she needed anything.

“It has been amazing,” she said.

Two suspects have been arrested and charged with murder and aggravated assault in connection with the shooting. Dequasie Johnathan Little, 22, was arrested Tuesday and Sharice Ingram, also 22, turned herself in late Wednesday. Investigators believe Little fired the deadly shot while Ingram drove. Both were being held without bond Friday at the Fulton County Jail.

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Dequasie Little (left) and Sharice Ingram, both 22, have been charged with murder and aggravated assault in the death of 6-month-old Grayson Fleming-Gray.

Credit: Fulton County Sheriff's Office

Dequasie Little (left) and Sharice Ingram, both 22, have been charged with murder and aggravated assault in the death of 6-month-old Grayson Fleming-Gray.

Credit: Fulton County Sheriff's Office

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Dequasie Little (left) and Sharice Ingram, both 22, have been charged with murder and aggravated assault in the death of 6-month-old Grayson Fleming-Gray.

Credit: Fulton County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Fulton County Sheriff's Office

Additional arrests are possible. According to witnesses, the Jeep Cherokee that Little and Ingram were in was chasing another car. The investigation continues in the case, according to police.

Gray said she’s learned the gun violence that killed her son was the result of a dispute that could have easily been solved. Instead, she says she lost the baby she had wanted her entire life. And the suspects’ lives were likely also ruined.

“This isn’t a game. This isn’t a PlayStation game where we can pause. This is real life,” she said. “No mother should have to bury their child in a situation like this.”

A public visitation will be held Monday from 4-8 p.m. at the funeral home, located at 1003 Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard. A GoFundMe page was created to assist the family with costs.