HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - A man faces multiple charges connected to a shooting that killed a 1-year-old girl and injured the girl’s father in October 2017.
Byron Archer, 20, faces charges of malicious wounding, use of a firearm in commission of malicious wounding, conspiracy to commit malicious wounding, and shooting into an occupied dwelling. Those charges are related to the male victim.
Archer has not yet been charged in the death of Jaidah, the 1-year-old girl.
In the shooting on Oct. 10, 2017, witnesses say a woman ran out of her Fayette Avenue home screaming that her child had been shot.
A neighbor said gunshots woke her up because they were so loud. She says the gunshots initially sounded like they were in her home.
"I originally heard five [shots], then I heard three more and then I heard screaming," said the woman, who didn't want to be identified. "Honestly, it sounded so close I thought someone in my house had been shot but I didn't know I just panicked."
Jaidah’s mother, Tia Graves, wrote on a social media post last year that she wished it was her instead.
“My heartttttt, you came a long way, baby, I love you. I wish it was me laying there and not you, when you looked me in my eyes, gasping for breath, wondering why I couldn’t save you. I’m sorry Jaidah. I swear I am, baby. I’m so sorry. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. This not right. Why me,” wrote Tia Graves.
Family members said last year that Temonteke Morris, 20, was injured in the shooting and was the baby’s father.
On Friday, Natonia Thomas, baby Jaidah’s aunt and her family attended Archer’s arraignment in court.
“It’s been hard for my family, were still trying to heal from it,” Thomas said. “I think hes young, he has a lot to learn about life and unfortunately he is going to have to take up a lot of his time in prison before he actually realizes what he did. I’m definitely happy he is where he is at. I feel sorry for his mom but that’s something she has to deal with like we have to deal with the loss of my baby niece."
Thomas and her family don’t feel like justice has been fully served.
“When I hear how much time he gets for my niece murder that will be justice for me,” Thomas said. “You know we can’t get her back...so why should his family be able to get him back?”
In fact, Thomas hopes Archer goes away for life.
“I think he needs to pay for a child who struggled to get into this world and then she had to go out the worst way,” Thomas said. “No coming home because shes not, we cant see her. We cant watch her grow, we cant watch her walk, we cant watch her say her first words, he needs to be where he’s at.”
Archer is due in court on Dec. 18.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Henrico County Police at 804-501-5000 or Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.