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Family of 1-year-old slain in New Orleans seeks witnesses, end to violence

Courtesy Andrea Samuels

Londyn Samuels with mom Andrea Samuels and dad Keion Reed.

The parents of a 1-year-old girl shot to death in her babysitter's arms in New Orleans are hoping the community's outrage can be harnessed to end gun violence against children, a family spokeswoman said Saturday.

"There has to be some kind of good to come out of this," Angela Robertson said as the family made funeral plans for slain toddler Londyn Samuels. "We hope Londyn's name is going to make some kind of change. Maybe she can be a miracle."

An 18-year-old sitter was carrying Londyn home from the park when a gunman fired two shots at her Thursday night. One of the bullets hit the teen's back, exited her chest and killed the little girl, police said.

Police are looking for two suspects and complained Friday that few tips had come in. They suggested the sitter, who survived, may have been the target of the shooter but the motive was unknown.

"We do want answers," Robertson said. "We do want justice and we want someone to come forward. But our main focus right now is making sure the baby is put to rest."

Courtesy Andrea Samuels

Andrea Samuels with older daughter Paris and Londyn.

A funeral for Londyn will be held Saturday, Sept. 7, and her parents, Andrea Samuels and Keion Reed, are looking for a church large enough to hold what's expected to be an overflow crowd.

The community has rallied around the couple, and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu attended a vigil for Londyn Friday night, decrying the "drumbeat of death" that has claimed the lives of four children shot in the Central City neighborhood in three years.

"What kind of a man would shoot at a woman holding a child?" Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas asked Friday as he pleaded for witnesses to come forward.

Robertson said Samuels and Reed were consoled by the outpouring of support. But on Facebook, the young mom, who also has a 2-year-old, expressed anguish.

"Lord, why my baby girl?" she wrote below a picture of a Minnie Mouse doll -- the little girl's favorite character.

"Londyn please wake up & come home to us."

Courtesy Andrea Samuels

Keion Reed with his daughter Londyn.