Exclusive: Family remembers pregnant woman killed in Raleigh

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Kimberly Richardson's family is busy planning a memorial service and keeping vigil at the hospital bedside of Kimberly's infant child. However, they wanted the public to know just who Kimberly was.

"She was loving and caring, all those attributes. Honestly, she's never met a stranger. That girl could talk to anybody," said Daniel "Boot" Joyner, Kimberly's brother-in-law who spoke to ABC11 by phone Wednesday night.

Joyner said Kimberly was the kind of person who could put a smile on anyone's face. Joyner's comments mark the first time since Richardson was shot in the parking lot of a party store near Triangle Town Center that her family is speaking out.

Police say Richardson, who was 26 weeks pregnant, was shot by her boyfriend, 25-year-old Daniel Steele. Steele was the father of her unborn child.

The young mom-to-be died at WakeMed, but doctors were able to save the baby. Kimberly's parents and sister are holding vigil at the baby's bedside.

"Apart from just kinda going day-by-day with a preemie and everything, [the baby's] doing good," said Joyner.

The baby is girl is named Lacy. It's the name Kimberly wanted. The child's middle name is Dianne, the same middle name as her mom.

Joyner said he's convinced Kimberly willed herself to survive the gunshot wound long enough to dial 911 and get the help that would ultimately save her unborn daughter.

"She was going to do everything she could to protect that kid, and that's what she did all the way to the hospital," Joyner said.

Steele could face the death penalty if convicted for Kimberly's murder.

Joyner said the family is focused on raising Lacy, not the unthinkable violence that took Lacy's mom. Joyner did say the family never saw it coming.

"[Steele and Richardson] had their highs, and they had their lows. And when you put a baby into the mix, you're gonna have lows. There's gonna be problems. How are we gonna take care of this financially? What are we gonna do? There are so many things out there in any kind of relationship and that's the same stuff they faced," Joyner said.

Commenters on social media have taken to calling Lacy a miracle baby. Joyner said the family has been "blown away" by all the support. Thousands of supportive messages and thousands of dollars in donations have been raised so far on online fundraising site. To donate, click here.

A memorial service for Kimberly is slated for Sunday.

Steele is due back in court on May 11.

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