A 42-year-old Black mother of nine is dead after being shot by her white neighbor, Nicholas Lucas. He claims to have accidentally shot Kesha Tate through the window of her mobile home in Gaffney, South Carolina while she was cooking dinner.
According to the victim’s children, per The Associated Press, on Saturday, Aug. 27, Lucas and his friends were shooting at a satellite dish not too far from their home around 6:30 p.m. Kesha, who was standing less than 50 feet from the fallen satellite dish, asked the 30-year-old to stop firing his gun. However, the news outlet reports that Lucas continued shooting, and when the 42-year-old woman returned to the window, she was shot dead. Her children, who were present, were unharmed.
Denise Tate, Kesha’s sister, claims Lucas wouldn’t have shot her sister if he knew her sister’s character. “If that man got to know my sister, he would’ve never killed her,” Denise said. “She would’ve [given] him a place to stay, [food] to eat, clothes, all of that. Anything he needed, even for his family, she would’ve helped.”
People reported that Lucas, initially charged with involuntary manslaughter, now faces charges of murder, use of a firearm under the influence, and discharging a firearm into a dwelling. Authorities have debunked his claim that the bullet ricocheted off the satellite dish. In his bond hearing, Lucas denied shooting Kesha intentionally and claimed it was an “accident.”
Cherokee County Sheriff Steve Mueller called the mother’s death preventable in a statement to WMBF News. “This is a senseless death that could have been avoided had the gun owner been responsible and chosen a safer place to target practice,” Mueller said. “It is mind-blowing that a person thinks it’s alright to target practice or discharge a gun within close proximity to so many other homes in a neighborhood.”
A GoFundMe for Kesha, started by her eldest daughter Traleekia Tate, already has over $13,347 raised. To prevent target practice in residential neighborhoods, the Tate family is pushing a “Kesha Tate Target Law” to change gun laws in the state.
According to the sheriff’s office, the incident is still under investigation.
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