'The baby lived for a reason:' Family of pregnant woman killed by gunfire hopes for quick arrest
MILWAUKEE -- As Milwaukee police searched for the person(s) responsible for killing a pregnant woman who was struck by gunfire while on a party bus near 60th Street and Congress Street early Saturday, Feb. 1. Investigators were back on scene Monday, where a memorial for Annie Sandifer, 33, continued to grow. This, as Sandifer's family urged anyone with information to come forward.
"I was shocked," said Marquita Pirtle, Sandifer's cousin. "I was stunned. I really couldn't believe it."
Purple balloons marked the spot where Sandifer sat around 2:30 a.m. Saturday -- struck by gunfire as a silver vehicle passed, and shots were fired from the sunroof, police said. Police said Sandifer was pronounced dead at the hospital.
"She felt like the safest thing to do was, instead of being inside the club, was to be on the bus, where she thought she'd be safer," said Pirtle.
Sandifer was pregnant with her fifth child, and while she didn't make it, her baby boy did. He was delivered by C-section at 26 weeks -- and police said the baby was in stable condition at the hospital.
"He's healthy," said Pirtle. "He's not fully developed, but he's reaching the stages."
Family members called the birth a miracle.
"I believe the baby lived for a reason," said Pirtle.
60th and Congress
Sandifer's cousin said the group was celebrating a birthday Saturday and said she believes the bullets were intended for someone inside Gene's Supper Club.
"I believe someone got into it at the club, not the people on the bus, or the people affiliated with the party, and initially, like a lot of cases happen, people come back and retaliate by shooting," said Pirtle.
As police worked to piece everything together, Pirtle said she hoped for closure -- asking that the person(s) responsible for the death of her cousin do the right thing.
"I hope they just have it in their heart to just turn themselves in," said Pirtle.
Family members said the baby would remain hospitalized for at least a few weeks.
Anyone with information on the shooting was asked to please contact Milwaukee police.
A GoFundMe fundraiser was created in Sandifer and her baby's name. CLICK HERE to donate.