LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C. -- A three-year-old girl was killed in a shooting Monday night, apparently caught in the crossfire during an argument over money, according to a witness.
Mandy Coats said the girl, Jaylen Jackson, was strapped into a car seat inside a vehicle.
Coats said she, along with the boyfriend of Jaylen's mother, and his friend stopped at Coats' home on Athena Road at around 9:40 p.m. Monday.
Another vehicle pulled up at the home, according to investigators, and at least one man opened fire.
Coats told NewsChannel 36 her first instinct was to try to protect the toddler in the car.
As soon as I heard (gunfire), I wanted to run to the car and get her out. But I would have put myself in jeopardy and I ve got 3 kids to raise, she said.
After the shooting, the boyfriend, Maurico Stevens, drove away, Coats said, apparently not aware that the toddler had been wounded.
A spokesman with the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office said said Stevens later dropped the girl off at a hospital in Lancaster.
The child was later transferred to Carolinas Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.
The girl's grandmother, Arlene Clyburn, says no one has heard from Stevens since the shooting.
Clyburn wants Stevens to come forward and help find the killer.
Go and fess-up and tell what happened to my grand baby because she can't tell us, Clyburn said as she held a photo of Jaylen.
Investigators from the sheriff's office were back at the scene Tuesday morning, looking for clues but have released no information about a possible suspect or a motive.
Clyburn says she doesn't know if Stevens was the intended target in the shooting, but would be able to help police if he would come forward.
If his family has got him wherever, they need to go and turn him in because he is just as guilty as the ones that shot him, she said.
Maurico, man-up. If you love my grand baby like you say you do, come and let us know where you are at, she pleaded.