Family seeks end to violence after baby, grandma killed in Flint

A happy little baby and his loving grandmother were killed in cold blood on Saturday.

Romelo Jones Jr. and Belinda Hart died in the 600 block of Pulaski Street in Flint.

“I’m just thinking about all the peaceful times I had with him. The long nights, up until 6 a.m. I changed his first diaper,” said Romelo Jones, the baby’s father.

Hart was an autoworker.

“I’m angry to tears because she was so loved. We stood on the strike line this summer together,” said Claudia Perkins-Milton, the baby’s great-grandmother.

Police said Romelo and Hart were not the intended targets of the drive-by shooting.

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“This is our son right here. And they took him away from us and it’s hard. He didn’t have anything to do with this,” Jones said.

Bullet holes and broken glass litter the home on Pulaski where little Romelo and his grandmother slept while they were shot.

“Left us with a house shot up. Left us with a kid that’s dead. A woman that’s dead. And everybody loved these people. How would you all feel if it was your 9-month-old baby? Your mother? How would y’all feel,” Jones said.

“Something is wrong with this to just let it keep happening over and over,” Perkins-Milton said.

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Family and friends gathered Tuesday night to honor the innocent victims. Dec. 29 would have been Hart’s 49th birthday. Instead of a trip to Las Vegas, she received a prayer and balloons in her memory.

Their deaths were part of a vicious day of violence in Flint that included three separate shootings and four deaths – all within a couple miles. Police believe they could be connected and have two suspects in custody.

Perkins-Milton is asking for gun reform to quell the violence.

“They gotta do something. They can’t keep it like it is,” she said.

Romelo’s aunt, Amari Jones, is asking police to answer calls faster.

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“People could’ve been saved. My mama was on that ground for 12 hours without being taken by an ambulance. Flint has to come together as a whole to stop,” she said.

Romelo’s father is asking the retaliation killings to end.

“No more violence. No more retaliations. We’re not for that. That’s not the point of this. We’re trying to stop all this. I’m hoping this is the end of it all,” he said.


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