A mother of a 3-year-old boy out celebrating her own birthday was shot and killed outside a Manhattan nightclub early Monday as she tried to hail a cab to go home, the woman's tearful parents told NBC 4 New York.
The grief-stricken parents of Walikque Grace Faussett said she turned 24 Oct. 1 and had been out with her best friend at Motivo, a club at Fifth Avenue and East 21st Street, for a belated celebration. The two went outside to head home around 4 a.m. and gunfire erupted.
Faussett was shot in the back; she died at a hospital. Her 25-year-old friend was shot in the hip and foot but is expected to be OK. Another woman, who is 30, was shot in the shoulder. The two survivors remained hospitalized in stable condition Monday afternoon.
Police say the suspect was booted from the club after arguing with another patron. They say he told bouncers he'd come back with a gun. He returned some time later, began shooting and fled in a car, authorities said. Police said they were looking for a dark sedan, possibly a BMW.
Witness Dennis Farrell was about half a block away; he said he thought he heard six or seven shots.
"I turned the corner. It was mayhem," Farrell said.
Authorities say they don't believe the injured women were the gunman's intended targets. Meanwhile, Faussett's parents want the shooter brought to justice.
"I don't know what they did to him to make him go into a rage ... go to his car ... get a gun and just shoot and fire," Faussett's father, Walter Faussett said. "She was innocent."
"Why did my daughter suffer? Why did he kill my daughter?" the victim's mother, Wendi Rodriguez, said through tears. "My first born -- now I gotta bury her."
The parents say their daughter, who worked at Nordstrom in White Plains, was a good person who didn't have a mean bone in her body. She had a 3-year-old son named Alexander.
"It's just not right," Rodriguez said. "He takes my daughter's life. He gets to live. He grows old, not mine."
An outpouring of sadness and disbelief swelled on Faussett's Instagram page as friends expressed shock over her death.
"Grace stop playing we just agreed that you get to see zi today just call me and tell me I can come over," one person wrote.
Others wrote they would always miss her and said they would help her son if he ever needed anything.
Motivo's management did not immediately respond to phone and email messages. The club is generally open Fridays and Saturdays, but it was open to the public for a special party Sunday night, according to its website.