Janelle Monáe’s Cousin Shot to Death in Drive-by

Celebrities are exempt from several things, but grief and loss isn’t one of them. Last week, JET broke the tragic news that NBA star Dwyane Wade’s cousin was shot and killed in Chicago. Now, it appears that singer-songwriter Janelle Monáe’s family is suffering the same fate.

Monáe took to Twitter Wednesday to report that her 38-year-old cousin, Natasha Hays, was shot and killed early Tuesday morning in Kansas City:

WDAF reports that gunmen sprayed gunfire into her home while she slept.

Hays and her three teenage children were asleep in their home at N. 9th and Cleveland around 3:45 a.m. Tuesday when someone fired shots into her bedroom, killing her.

“Whoever did this is a coward,” said Candice Berger, Hays’ cousin.  ‘They just took her life … I mean, it’s just wrong, it’s just wrong, in a cowardly way. She was a mother, a true mother.”

According to witnesses, as the gunfire was hitting Hays’ home, her children woke up and called out for her. When she didn’t answer, one of the children went to her room and found her dead.

Hays leaves behind an 18-year-old, a 16-year-old and a 14-year-old.

“How would you feel if you woke up and your mom’s gone and you found her like that,” said Berger. “What nightmares do you think they are going to have now?”

Hays was a caregiver at Life Care Center of Kansas City, 3231 N 61st St. The retirement home released the following statement:

The residents and associates of Life Care Center of Kansas City are shocked and heartbroken by the tragic death of our team member and friend last night. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family as they go through the difficult days and weeks ahead.

Grief counseling and bereavement services are being provided for residents and associates at the facility.  At Life Care Center of Kansas City, we are a family. Our dedicated caregivers work very hard to make this center one that is known for its professionalism and compassion in the delivery of service to our residents. We remain focused on that mission today and every day. 

– Michelle Nichols, Executive Director

No one is in custody.