Mom, 23, Killed by Stray Bullet While Reading Bible to Daughter: 'She Loved Jesus'

Michael Foust | Contributor | Tuesday, November 2, 2021
A mom and daughter reading a Bible, a young mom is shot to death while reading the Bible to her infant

Mom, 23, Killed by Stray Bullet While Reading Bible to Daughter: 'She Loved Jesus'

The family of an Illinois woman who was shot and killed while reading the Bible to her daughter says they are clinging to their faith in Jesus, knowing they will see her again in heaven.

The mother, Melanie Yates, was shot and killed in her home by what police say was a stray bullet fired from the street. Police do not believe she was the intended target, according to ABC 7 Chicago.

She was 23.

Melanie and her husband, Daniel, lived in Zion, Ill., with their two young daughters. She was reading the Bible to their 7-month-old daughter, Lydia, in their home Saturday night, Oct. 16, when she was struck. She was taken to the hospital, where she died.

Melanie’s mother, Lam Calderon, told the Chicago Tribune that Melanie often read Scripture to her children. The couple’s other daughter, Evelyn, is two and a half.

“We raised our children that way,” Calderon said. “We read to them while they were in the womb. We knew they would have eternal salvation if they believed in Jesus.”

Yates, a registered nurse, married Daniel when she was 18. He asked her father for permission to date her.

“He asked, ‘What are your rules?’ I said, ‘Don’t be alone together,” her father, Shawn Calderon, told the newspaper. “They began courting. They would text us from the road, and when they were at the theater.”

They were married one year later. Their goal was to have five to seven children, her parents said.

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for Daniel and their two children. More than $140,000 has been raised.

“Everybody who knew Lanie knows she loved Jesus Christ with every fiber of her being,” the page says. “There is no doubt whatsoever that she is in heaven at this very moment. But we on earth miss her very dearly. We miss her passionate, powerful prayers. We miss her infectious laugh. We miss her beautiful singing voice lifting songs of worship. We miss her feisty, witty humor. We miss her dedication to being an amazing, godly mom and wife. We miss her. And we wish with every fiber of our being she was here, but we know she’s in a better place.”

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Rudi Suardi

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.