‘A mother’s worst nightmare’: Birth mother of woman shot while driving in SE Fort Wayne seeking justice

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — LaVetra McKissick-Mhoon said it felt like “everything dropped” when she received the phone call on Sunday, informing her of the news that her 20-year-old birth daughter had been shot.

“I ran, I literally walked out the door and didn’t think about a car, no vehicle, no nothing. I started walking to the hospital [her daughter was at],” said McKissick-Mhoon, the biological mother of Ayania Starr Coker.

Coker was fighting for her life at a Fort Wayne hospital after being shot multiple times.

Meanwhile, Euclid Avenue and Eckart Street in southeast Fort Wayne was flooded with police and medics. Coker’s car was wedged underneath a truck.

The 20-year-old died on Monday. Now, McKissick-Mhoon wants justice.

“This is a mother’s worst nightmare and I wouldn’t wish this pain on no one,” said McKissick-Mhoon. “I want her killers taken off the streets… They do not deserve to walk Earth knowing that they took a life. God does not approve of that. Period. I want her [Ayania] to know that I will not stop looking. I will not stop searching. I will not give up.”

McKissick-Mhoon gave birth to Coker when she was 16-years-old. Despite giving her up for adoption when Coker was an infant to give her a better life, she said the two maintained a “very close” relationship over the last 20 years.

A memorial, honoring Coker’s memory at the corner of Euclid Avenue and Eckart Street. Her favorite colors were purple and silver, according to her birth-mother.

“She wanted to be a part of our lives and we wanted her there just as much as she wanted to be there,” said McKissick-Mhoon. “I feel lost. I feel like there’s no words to express how I feel. As well as her adoptive mom, I know, she feels the exact same way because we both lost someone that meant something very, very much to us.”

McKissick-Mhoon said she “honestly doesn’t know” if Sunday’s shooting was random, or if her daughter was targeted. The other passenger in Coker’s car on Sunday was a close friend. He was not injured in the incident.

He told WANE 15 “it hurts too much to rethink what happened.”

According to her birth mother, Coker had “a happy spirit and was colorful, energetic and would do anything for anyone if they needed it.” She said Coker’s passion was styling hair.

Police have not released any suspect information so far.

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