Mother of 5 shot, killed in front of children, family says

ROME, Ga. — An investigation is underway after a mother of five was shot and killed. Family members said it happened in front of the victim’s children.

The slaying happened Friday in a Floyd County apartment on West 13th Street. There is now a growing memorial a few feet from the front door for 30-year-old Crystal Vega.

Police said the woman’s boyfriend, Nakota Smith, is a person of interest, but they are not ready to label the man a suspect in the shooting.

“Her kids don’t have a mom. I don’t have a sister. My mom (doesn’t) have a daughter,” Tiffany Vega, the victim’s sister, said.

Tiffany Vega said her pain has turned into anger.


“What do you say? What do you do? What are we going to tell her kids? She’s got an 11-day-old baby in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit),” Vega said.

Family members said two of the woman’s children were home.

“You have a 3-year-old in the house, and he’s running around the house saying, ‘My daddy killed my mommy. My mommy is dead,’” Vega said.

Rome police confirmed investigators have that information.

A neighbor told Channel 2 Action News that Smith knocked on her door Friday night and said Crystal Vega shot herself.

“When they got to my sister’s front door, she was on the ground,” Tiffany Vega said.

The neighbor told us Smith put Crystal Vega into the back seat of her car. She said she drove Vega to the hospital and Smith ran off.

“Why would you get the neighbor to drive? Why didn’t you call us? Why weren’t you at the hospital?” Tiffany Vega asked.

Tiffany Vega said her sister gave birth 11 days ago. She told Channel 2 Action News the couple's baby is at the NICU at Floyd Medical Center.

Police said Smith may have left the area.

“Turn yourself in. My family wants justice,” Vega said.

A hospital spokesman confirmed officials placed Floyd Medical Center on "controlled access" Friday night into early Saturday morning.

The spokesman would not say if it was connected to the couple's baby, but did say it was necessary to increase security.