Premature baby improving after mother's shooting death in St. Petersburg

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A premature baby’s health is improving after he was delivered two months early because his mother was shot and killed.

The little boy baby is now off a ventilator. Family members say he is a fighter.

“He’s progressing so much further than they thought he would,” the mother's cousin, Tia Covington Harris said. “He has a fighting spirit just as his mother has.”

Baby Kai Spencer is breathing on his own and moving his arms and legs. Doctors delivered him after his mother, Joi Spencer passed away.

“There was a time where we thought we would have two funerals… Joi wanted nothing more than to be a mother,” Harris said.

St. Petersburg police say her dream was cut short by her husband, Kamion Spencer, who is accused of shooting Joi in the chest at their home on Trout Drive in Coquina Key Friday.

Police released only a few details about what led up to the shooting, but have charged him with manslaughter. Detectives say he killed her without the intent of murder.

“There are no answers for us,” Harris said. “We were planning a baby shower and now we are planning a funeral.”

Family is now watching over baby kai, which they say is giving them hope. They are fighting through the grief of one life cut short while hanging on to the miracle of another saved.

“With all of this darkness. He is the light for us,” said Harris.

Joi’s family says the community’s support has been tremendous, from people donating money online to dropping off food for them to eat in between hospital visits.

A candle light vigil in remembrance of Joi is planned for Friday night at 8 p.m., at the home of Tia Covington Harris, 758 14th Ave S, St. Petersburg. The public is invited to attend.