Mom, 13-year-son killed months after drowning death of another son

The motive for the killing remains unclear and no suspect has been identified.

A Philadelphia mother and her 13-year-old son were fatally shot in their home on Dec. 31. Their deaths come months after the woman’s 6-year-old son died in an accidental drowning. 

Nandi Fitzgerald, 28, her son, Denzel Nolan, and Tatiana Hill, 28, were shot at about 4 a.m. in Pittsburgh’s Homewood South neighborhood, according to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office, PEOPLE reports. All were pronounced dead at the scene.

Nandi Fitzgerald and her son Denzel Nolan | CREDIT: FACEBOOK

Authorities have launched an investigation into the shooting. The motive for the killing remains unclear and no suspect has been identified, according to multiple reports.

“A mother is gone… two mothers gone… and a son… in our neighborhood,” said Mubarik Ismaeli, president of Homewood Community Sports football team, the Bulldawgs. Nolan started the organization when he was a kid. 

“He was the first up at the field and the last to leave,” said Ismaeli.

“Our kids are hurting, families are hurting,” Ismaeli stated after the triple homicide. “For everyone not to be up in arms and sick and tired of this is extremely alarming and upsetting to me. I am tired of it.”

“I am numb,” Wanda Fitzgerald, Nandi’s mother, told Channel 11. ”I have no feeling, I wouldn’t want this to happen to no one else’s family.”

The family is still reeling from the pain of losing Nandi’s 6-year-old son last June in a tragic drowning incident at a hotel pool in Hershey Park during a birthday celebration.

“We played all sorts of pool games,” Fitzgerald wrote on a GoFundMe at the time, per the PEOPLE report. “We were all getting out of the pool and I turned my back and my 6-year-old baby was drowning.”

“I tried everything I could do to save my baby,” Fitzgerald added, “but God had other plans. I’ll never be the same after what I witnessed.”

Wanda said her daughter called her on Christmas Eve to grieve the loss of her son. 

“She called me Dec. 24 and said, ‘Mom, I want my baby,’” Wanda said. “I said, ‘Cry, baby, cry baby.’ But now I know you’re with your baby.”

“Our family has had our world turned completely upside down,” the family wrote in a GoFundMe to help support the two children that Fitzgerald leaves behind, aged 6 and 1.

“We lost 2 beautiful souls Nandi Fitzgerald and her 12 year old son Denzel aka ‘Buddy,’ were 2 of 3 people tragically murdered in the comfort of her own home.”

“Nandi was an amazing mom who loved her boys more than anything,” the GoFundMe continues. “She was an amazing daughter, sister and friend. Her smile was priceless. She has two surviving children, a 6 year old son and a 1 year son that are left without their mom and big brother. This year has been absolutely devastating for our family.”

Hill leaves behind a 5-year-old and 7-year-old, according to reports. 

“Just when I thought I was alone – I can’t even tell everybody how amazed I am,” said Wanda. “When this happened, I thought I was just by myself. This has got to be the hardest thing I got to go through.”

Community leaders called for justice for the three victims during a Friday night vigil where hundreds of mourners gathered at Homewood Field. 

“We can’t go into the new year showing this is what we’re about. This is not us. We are a community of love,” said Sheldon Oliver, who organized a “love gathering” to pay tribute to the victims. 

“We’re just coming together to show strength in Pittsburgh as a community, as a people, as us.”

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