Family of mother murdered in Avondale speaks out

Family of mother murdered in Avondale speaks out
Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 1:23 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - A family member of a woman who was murdered in broad daylight in Avondale is speaking out.

On August 5, 34-year-old Nia Booker was pregnant when she was shot and killed, according to the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office.

She left behind five children, including the baby she was carrying.

Pregnant woman killed in Avondale shooting identified, baby in ICU

Nia’s mother’s is speaking out about her daughter for the first time.

“I adopted her when she was 15 months,” Darlene Booker-Powell shared. “I’ve made a lot of accomplishments in my life. I graduated from college I had a beautiful job with juvenile court. That was the best thing I had done in my life: adopt a baby.”

Booker-Powell said she adopted Nia Imani 33-years ago, showing photos of her as a little girl.

The photos bring her mother back to a simpler time before the life-altering night in Avondale.

“I was coming back from my second funeral, and I was headed back this way. My nine-year-old called me hysterical.”

She still remembers the message relayed to her.

“They said, ‘My mommy, my mommy!’ The nurse took the phone and said, ‘Your daughter has been shot - come to UC.’”

Around 5:15 p.m., Nia Booker and her kids were headed to the 127 Yard Sale with a friend when a gunman pulled up and fired several shots in the passenger side.

“Security said she was shot twice. She was talking when she came in. I’m thinking, she gon’ make it,” Booker-Powell.

That’s when doctors took Nia’s mother into the room and gave her a life-altering final update.

“They told me she didn’t make it. I was like, ‘What?’ I lost it, I lost it.”

Booker was murdered next to a park and nursing home.

“The defendant was identified by surveillance footage, victim and witness statements, and other investigative leads,” Nia’s mother said.

The suspect in the shooting is 22-year-old Miquan Barfield. He pleaded not guilty.

Booker’s mother says Barfield and her daughter knew each other but she doesn’t understand why this happened.

“She wasn’t doing nothing. She wasn’t fighting nobody. She wasn’t in no gangs,” Booker-Powell said.

Three of Nia’s five children witnessed her death, so family and friends gathered to get her children into therapy.

“My friends got them in, and they sent me in. I was like, ‘OK,’ so that’s helped a lot. They also have counseling at school.”

Booker Powell says the baby girl Nia was pregnant with at the time of her death survived the shooting.

Two of Nia’s kids - including the baby - live with their dads, while Booker Powell is the full-time guardian of the other three.

“I’m looking for a three bedroom. Because the place I live in now is a senior building. They’ve been there before, but I can’t do that to my neighbors.”

Nia’s mother says she wants to start a non-profit in honor of her late daughter.

“I want to call it Imani’s Place,” she said. “A place for family and children, women and children so they can have a resource when they’re looking for housing so when they look for a place, they don’t have to go to Section 8 or get scammed.”

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