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Child Protector Assassinated

December 8, 2009 permalink

Lakisha Scriven, a New York child protection specialist, was shot to death while sending her own children to school Monday morning.



New York Times

Woman Fatally Shot in Front of Children

By KAREN ZRAICK and AL BAKER, Published: December 7, 2009

A child protection specialist was fatally shot in the head outside her Bronx home early on Monday as she prepared to take her two young daughters to elementary school, the police and neighbors said.

Lakisha Scriven
Michael Appleton for The New York Times
Lakisha Scriven, 30, was shot outside her home on Furman Avenue in the Wakefield section of the Bronx while she was putting her daughters, 5 and 8, in her vehicle to take them to school.

“I was getting ready to leave home and I heard the kids screaming,” said a neighbor, Pearl Rogers, 72. “She was saying, ‘Mommy! Mommy!’ It will never get out of my mind, the way that kid was screaming. It just hurt my heart.”

The victim, Lakisha Scriven, 30, appeared to have been the intended target of the gunman, who fired at close range at about 7:15 a.m., according to a law enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was continuing. She was shot once in the back of the head and pronounced dead at Jacobi Medical Center an hour and a half hour later.

The police had not named any suspects as of Monday night. Detectives were speaking with Ms. Scriven’s companion, Clarence White, the father of the two girls, ages 5 and 8, the law enforcement official said. The couple had been living together in an apartment on Furman Avenue, but Ms. Scriven asked Mr. White to leave after a dispute on Friday, the official added. They had planned to share child care duties, with Ms. Scriven dropping the girls off at school and Mr. White picking them up. Monday was to be the first day of the new arrangement.

Ms. Scriven worked in a Bronx office of New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services. She had been employed there about four years and was promoted to a supervisory position in 2007, the agency said in a statement.

“Her bubbly love of life has been mentioned by all who knew her,” John Mattingly, the agency’s commissioner, wrote in an e-mail message to the staff on Monday afternoon.

Ms. Scriven was “a hard-working advocate on behalf of the children of New York City,” he wrote. “She spent time in all the Bronx sites because staff knew she could go into a new unit and pick up responsibilities with enthusiasm and competence.”

Neighbors said Ms. Scriven had lived on the block with her daughters for about five years.

“She was a good mother,” said Gloria Garrett, 58, whose grandson is a cousin of Ms. Scriven’s. “She was always with her two little girls.”

Another neighbor, Maria Santacruz, 37, said she worried about the long-term effects of such a traumatic event on Ms. Scriven’s daughters.

“They’re very sweet girls,” she said. “This is something they’re never going to forget, to see their mother killed that way.”

Julie Bosman and Mathew R. Warren contributed reporting.

Source: New York Times