Man accused of killing ex-girlfriend while she walked twin sons home

The 5-year-old twins watched as their mother, Sykea Patton, was shot three times.

A Philadelphia woman is dead after she was shot by her ex-boyfriend as she walked her 5-year-old twin sons home from school.

Family members of 24-year-old Sykea Patton told local news reporters that she was in the process of getting an order of protection against Donavan Crawford, 28, who is currently in jail on charges of murder and recklessly endangering another person, as well as weapons charges, NBC10 reports.

Sykea Patton
24-year-old Sykea Patton was shot and killed. (Credit: Facebook)

Patton and her sons were walking home in West Philadelphia on Nov. 19 when Crawford began shooting at about 3:11 p.m. Patton was shot in the left chest, left arm, and lower back, NBC 10 reports. She was rushed to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center’s trauma unit and pronounced dead at 3:44 p.m.

Family and friends held a candlelight vigil for Patton on Nov. 20, sharing their memories of her and releasing dozens of purple and white balloons into the sky. Her family is reeling from the tragedy.

“I’m suffering today,” her father, Joseph Patton, told NBC10 at the vigil. “I lost my daughter because of senseless gun violence. She didn’t deserve what happened to her. No woman deserves that.”  

According to Patton’s grandmother Verna Brown, her children “loved her.” “She was fun. She didn’t deserve that,” Brown said.

Patton’s murder comes as the gun violence epidemic in Philadelphia continues. As of the morning of Nov. 23, there have been 497 reported homicides in Philadelphia, up 13 percent from the same time last year. 2020 was one of the deadliest on record; Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said this year will surpass that.

Donavan Crawford
Donavan Crawford has been charged with Sykea Patton’s murder (Credit: (Philadelphia Police Department)

Philadelphia police reported at least 240 women have been shot in Philadelphia this year, with 61 succumbing to their wounds. One of the latest incidents occurred on Nov. 20 when 32-year-old Jessica Covington was shot multiple times in the head and stomach in Northeast Philadelphia as she was unloading gifts from her baby shower from her car. She was 7-months-pregnant.

Both Covington and her unborn child died. Currently, a $50,000 reward is being offered to anyone who comes forward with information on the suspect. A suspect was questioned but no official arrest or charges have been filed as of yet.

“The gun violence in the city…this has to stop. You know this has to stop. I’m 60 years old and they’re killing women and children,” Joseph Patton said. Every day here in the city. There’s no respect and there’s no love for nobody no more. We can’t live like this. As a people we have to do better.” 

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