Police seek mom in 11-year-old's slaying

VINNY VELLA / DAILY NEWS STAFF A memorial of stuffed animals, candles and other mementos sits outside the Mantua house where 11-year-old Jamara Stevens was shot and killed April 5.
VINNY VELLA / DAILY NEWS STAFF A memorial of stuffed animals, candles and other mementos sits outside the Mantua house where 11-year-old Jamara Stevens was shot and killed April 5.
Posted: April 18, 2014

WALLACE STREET was quiet yesterday.

An elderly man, sunning himself on his porch, said the block, near 38th Street in Mantua, had been "deserted" since Jamara Stevens, 11, was shot to death inside one of its homes April 5.

"A terrible thing, losing a child like that," he said as he sat on his property, across the street from that home. "The only people who know what happened are the ones who were there.

"And God, of course."

Which explains why police have issued an arrest warrant for Stevens' mom.

Tiffany Goldwire, 31, is wanted for involuntary manslaughter in connection with her daughter's death, Lt. John Stanford, a police spokesman, said.

Goldwire's lawyer, Eugene P. Tinari, said last night that his client - whom he said is "completely out of sorts"- will turn herself in to Homicide Unit detectives this afternoon.

"Her child was killed in an accident; this is an unspeakable tragedy," he said. "We'll let this wind its way through the courts, and I think, at the end of the day, prosecutors will see this was an accident, and not a criminal act on her part by any means."

According to Stanford, Goldwire "wasn't forthcoming" with investigators after her daughter's death and is refusing to cooperate with police in tracking down the man who owned the .357 Magnum revolver that accidentally fired that day, killing her little girl.

"We're trying to track him down and see what role he played in this tragedy," Stanford said. "So far, mom hasn't been helpful in that task."

According to investigators, Goldwire's boyfriend, whose identity police have not released, brought the loaded gun to the home and left it on top of the refrigerator.

At some point, a 14-year-old resident of the home grabbed the gun and moved it, stashing it under the bed in Goldwire's room.

It was there that Stevens' 2-year-old brother found the loaded firearm, which was already cocked, and pointed it at her, apparently thinking it was a toy, Stanford said.

"A gun like that wouldn't require much to fire," he said.

That's exactly what happened, the bullet piercing Jamara's chest. She died that day at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

There was no answer yesterday at the home where Jamara lost her life, nor at other homes nearby. A giant pile of stuffed animals, votive candles and even shoes stood in memory of the girl.

But time had taken its toll on the mementos, the deflated balloons drooping in the afternoon breeze, the candles covered in dried wax, the animals' neon fur faded in patches.

Tipsters with information on Goldwire's whereabouts should call 215-686-3334.


On Twitter: @Vellastrations

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