NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Another victim of the man accused of shooting and killing a Belmont University freshman is speaking out.
In 2021, Shaquille Taylor was charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, but the case was thrown out by a judge because Taylor was found incompetent. Taylor spent time in prison and was interviewed by doctors, but they all agreed that “additional training (or medical care) would not change” his skills. So, although he admitted to detectives that he had shot into a car with children inside, he was released back onto the street.
Shayla Workman, 26, and her two young children were the victims in this case.
“He had a weak bond with me and my two babies at the time, and you let him out because he’s too incompetent. But you can’t be too incompetent if you admit to shooting everyone” , Workman said.
Workman’s ordeal with Taylor began when she testified against someone she cared about for shooting her and her children.
“His brother was incarcerated for shooting me initially in May. He was incarcerated from May to August,” Workman said. “Between May and August 2, 2021, I was harassed by him and his brother’s girlfriend, him and his cousins.”
The confrontation came to a head on August 2, 2021, at the now-demolished RiverChase Apartments. Taylor found Workman in his car with his children, who were 3 and 1 at the time. Court documents obtained by NewsChannel 5 revealed he fired his gun at the car and hit it twice.
“The bullet hit the roof of my car and bounced. If I hadn’t been driving, it would have gone through the window and hit my son’s head,” Workman said.
Workman’s mother, Nakeda Kirby, expressed frustration with how the court system handled the case.
“Not only was she in contact with the DA’s office, but I harassed the DA’s office because we are talking about my child and my grandchildren.”
The family says they were taken aback when they learned the charges against Taylor had been dismissed.
“I saw him driving down the street before. That’s how I knew he was out. The DA’s office never contacted us,” Kirby said.
Last week, Taylor was arrested again, this time for shooting at a moving vehicle in the Edgehill community. One of the stray bullets struck Belmont University freshman Jillian Ludwig in the head. She stayed in the park for an hour before anyone noticed her. She died the next day. Currently, the charges against Taylor have been assigned to the Davidson County grand jury.
“This mother should not have to put her baby in the ground. Shaquille should not have been released. The lady prosecutor, she assured me, assured me that he would not be released. not,” Kirby said.
Workman and Kirby feel the system has failed not only their family but the Ludwig family as well.
“The DA’s office really made me feel like I was nothing by trying to stand up and be the voice for my child,” Kirby said.
Workman said her children still suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder after the shooting.
“There should have been no possibility of her losing her life at the hands of a man who already shot a woman and her two children and the state of Tennessee knows that,” Workman said.
It is important to add that federal and state laws prohibit prosecuting those found incompetent, which is why the case was dismissed. Doctors said Taylor did not pose a threat to himself or others and therefore could not be involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital.
Taylor’s criminal history
- 2011: Police seized a .40 caliber handgun belonging to Taylor in an incident when he was a juvenile.
- 2015: Taylor was charged with robbery and placed on probation
- 2016: Taylor violated this probation when he was charged with aggravated burglary and sentenced to a year in prison.
- 2021: Taylor was arrested after he and another man fired a gun at a car on Dickerson Pike in East Nashville. He was charged with aggravated assault.
- May 2023: He was released after three court-appointed psychologists found him incompetent to stand trial, but also found that he posed no imminent threat to himself or others.
- September 2023: Taylor was charged with car theft and released on bail, but a warrant was issued for his arrest last Friday when he failed to appear in court.