Young mother killed before she could testify against man who paralyzed her child

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

Less than two years after a gunman opened fire and injured her daughter to the point of paralysis, a young mother is dead. Bianca Horton, 26, was found shot to death on the side of the road in Chattanooga.

The incident that injured her 1-year-old daughter took the life of one person and injured several others. It was January 7, 2015, when shots rang out in the Horton apartment. Police responded to find Talitha Bowman, 20, dead from a gunshot wound to the heart, and an 18-year-old male with a shot to the chest, along with Bianca Horton, who had been shot in the arm.

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Her daughter, Zoey, was also bleeding from a gunshot wound when police arrived. They were so concerned for her well-being that they didn’t even wait for the ambulance, they took her to the hospital in their patrol car. The little girl survived her injuries but was left paralyzed in the attack.

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The main suspect in this quadruple shooting, gang member Cortez Sims, was only 17 himself at the time of the crime. He was arrested within a few days of the shooting and charged as an adult. The trial was set to begin in September 2016 in Judge Barry Steelman’s courtroom.

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Bianca Horton was a presumed witness in the case, though Executive Assistant District Attorney Lance Pope cannot comment on her role in the upcoming case.

Mayor Andy Berke released a statement saying, “Today I received devastating news that Bianca Horton was found dead. This loss of life is a loss to our entire community. Ms. Horton has been through so much. Her family and her daughter deserve our support and justice.”

Local news report about the 2015 shooting: