A vigil was held Sunday night for a 5-year-old boy who investigators say was shot and killed by his own father who ultimately turned the gun on himself.
"It's absolutely heartbreaking," said Pauline Butcher, a neighbor of the boy. "Something like this should never have happened."
The boy, named Cion, was with his mother, 26-year-old Shyema Washington at an apartment complex on the 1100 block of Haverford Road in Ridley Township Saturday night. The mother and son were attending a birthday party for Cion's cousin.
Towards the end of the night, Cion's father and Washington's estranged boyfriend, 26-year-old Tyrell Styles of Philadelphia, arrived at the party to pick up his son around 11:30 p.m. Washington went inside the apartment to get her son, according to investigators. When she came back outside, Styles allegedly pulled out a Ruger 9 mm and opened fire.
"I got to the door and as I was opening it up she was falling in," said Washington's sister, Daneesha Hill. "She was just saying, 'he shot me.'"
Washington was struck once in the mouth, twice in the buttocks and once in the midsection. Styles then allegedly pointed the gun at his own son and fired two shots. Cion was struck once in the forehead and once in the ankle. Styles then fled the scene in a white Pontiac Grand Prix, according to police.
Responding police officers arrived at the scene where they found the mother and son on the ground bleeding.
"We were directed to the rear of the property where we located a small child," said Ridley Township Police Lieutenant Scott Willoughby. "He was bleeding profusely from his head and from his ankle. He had suffered two gunshot wounds."
Police officers chased after Styles who crashed into two vehicles along Chester Pike and Oak Avenue. Those two drivers suffered minor injuries. Police say Styles continued to drive away until he arrived at a dead end on the 300 block of Brainerd Boulevard in Sharon Hill. As officers got out of their cars to approach him, investigators say Styles turned the gun on himself and fired one shot.
Cion was taken to Crozer-Chester Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead. Washington was also taken to Crozer-Chester where she is currently in critical condition.
Styles was taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania where he was placed on life support. He later died from his injuries overnight.
According to police, Styles and Washington were undergoing domestic issues prior to the shooting. However, according to Delaware County Courts, Washington never filed an order of protection against Styles this year. The only one she filed was back in October of 2009. However, that order was vacated because of the "plaintiff's failure to prosecute," according to court records.
Investigators also say Styles legally owned the gun he used in the shooting.
As Washington remains in the hospital, friends and family continue to mourn.
"I'm sad because what if it was me and my mom had to go through it?" asked Ashanti Gutridge, a friend of Cion's. "It just shouldn't have happened to a little boy like that."