After she was shot by her boyfriend, police say, Kimberly Dianne Richardson’s final act saved the life of her unborn child.
Six months pregnant and struggling to breathe and speak, Richardson clung to life long enough to call 911 for help on Saturday night in North Carolina.
“Help,” she said. “I’ve been shot.”
Hours later, the 25-year-old expectant mother died at a hospital, but doctors successfully delivered her daughter, Lacy.
On the call, released by the Raleigh Police Department, Richardson’s weak voice can be heard struggling to communicate. But she was lucid enough to give the dispatcher critical information about her location.
Richardson told the dispatcher that she was in the parking lot behind Party City at the Triangle Town Center Mall. She gave her phone number.
“I can’t … I can’t talk,” she said. “He shot me.”
Richardson couldn’t speak much, and the call ended with the dispatcher encouraging her to keep talking as sirens wailed in the background.
Friends say Richardson was delighted that she would soon be a mother. In Facebook posts, she carefully tracked the time as her pregnancy passed.
“She was really, really happy,” Paige Bragdon, who attended church with Richardson, said about her friend’s pregnancy, according to WRAL. “Really, really happy. I sent her a text the day before she went to find out the sex of the baby and told her how happy I was for her and how excited I am.”
According to the local ABC affiliate, Richardson worked two jobs — at Zales and at a clothing store — to prepare for her child. She was shot to death not far from the mall where she worked.
The baby, who was born prematurely, is hospitalized at WakeMed Hospital.
“She held on long enough for her to get the hospital and for them to deliver the baby so that baby can now carry on her legacy,” longtime friend Sarah Prenatt told WTVD, the ABC station.
Daniel Steele, who is accused of killing the mother of his child, was arrested not long after the incident. The 25-year-old appeared in court on Monday, and, according to reports, was stone-faced as the judge informed him that he’s facing a murder charge that carries a maximum penalty of life in prison or death.