Like most mornings, Leneaus Bowman snuck into his home in Dolton on Wednesday and playfully roused his wife from bed when he got back from his overnight shift at a manufacturing plant.
Marshia Bowman then woke the couple’s four girls — ages 1, 4, 8 and 9 — and they went about their average morning routine, chatting about Leneaus Bowman’s time at work and what his wife’s day had in store.
Unbeknownst to Leneaus Bowman, his wife’s life would tragically be cut short hours later — and this mundane conversation would be their last.
Marshia Bowman, 40, was shot in the head about 7 p.m. Wednesday while driving her four children near the intersection of Sibley and Chicago roads, just blocks from their home, according to Dolton trustee and community activist Andrew Holmes.
“She was a beautiful woman and a full-time mom. [She was] always helping her relatives, friends and church members,” Leneaus Bowman told the Chicago Sun-Times. “She never stopped.”
Marshia Bowman died Friday morning during a procedure at University of Chicago Medical Center, according to family spokesman Sean Howard and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
Leneaus Bowman said his wife of 11 years was shot while driving home from her job as an assistant teacher at Kiddy Culture Childcare in Harvey, where their children all attend various programs.
“Unlike most of us, she had a job that she loved to go to every day,” according to Leneaus Bowman, who said his wife was also “a missionary in the truest sense of the word and a born-again Christian.” The family attends church at St. Paul C.M.E. at 4644 S. Dearborn St. in the Grand Boulevard community.
Leneaus Bowman said investigators have told him that a stray bullet likely struck his wife. Holmes said 12 shell casings recovered at the scene may have come from two or three shooters exchanging gunfire.
Shortly after the shooting, witnesses reported seeing a man with a gun run into a nearby house at 149th and Oak streets. A SWAT team entered the house later Wednesday but didn’t find anyone inside, Holmes said.
“A lot of residents are coming in, giving up information [and] more video of the suspects,” said Holmes.
No one has been taken into custody yet. Leneaus Bowman bemoaned the gun violence that continues to affect the city and south suburbs.
“You can’t even pinpoint an area anymore, this is everywhere,” Leneaus Bowman said. “It’s in Chicago, it’s in my area, it’s just all over.”
Leneaus Bowman’s message to the shooter or shooters is simple: “They need to turn themselves in.”
“An end needs to come to this situation,” he added.
Meanwhile, Leneaus Bowman has made arrangements to lay his wife to rest.
Visitation and viewing will be held at 4 p.m. on Sept. 6 at McFarland and Walker Funeral Home, 2024 E. 75th St. The funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. Sept. 7 at St. Paul C.M.E. Church.
A GoFundMe has also been set up to benefit the couple’s eight kids, who range in age from 1 to 29. As of Sunday evening, $4,500 of the $20,000 goal had been raised.