January 29, 2024 | By: Ethan Leckie
This story is part of a collaborative project between Project: Cold Case and the University of North Florida’s Applied Journalism class.
Mahasin Muhammad’s 16-year-old grandson Nehemiah recently started his first job.
“He’s been a joy to raise,” said Muhammad.
But the boy’s mother, Kaamilya Muhammad, won’t get to see him grow up. She died when he was two, murdered at a New Orleans second line parade in 2010. She was shot once in the head – and died at the scene. No suspects have ever been publicly identified.
Kaamilya was born on January 30, 1978, in California’s San Joaquin Valley region but spent her childhood in Oakland, California. In California, Kaamilya worked as a caretaker of autistic children, and their parents all gave her positive reviews. “She always did special things for the kids,” her mother stated. She and her mother eventually moved to New Orleans for her mom to take a job offer from the city and to be closer to family in the area.
After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the two moved back to California. Shortly after, Kaamilya moved to Atlanta to stay with friends. While in Atlanta, she began dating a man and later became pregnant with a son. Although she never planned to have children, she loved taking care of her son.
“Her child was the most important thing in the world. She was crazy about him,” Kaamilya’s mother said.
Called “Ms. K”, Kaamilya or Camille by those closest to her, say she was very well known for her beautiful singing voice. Kaamilya loved singing. She could make near-perfect impressions of English, Jamaican, Hispanic, German, and Russian accents. She loved animals and had a pet dog as an adult. She was fun, adventurous, and had a magnetic personality. Ultimately, Kaamilya aspired to become a lawyer.
On September 5, 2010, Kaamilya was in New Orleans watching the Black Men of Labor’s yearly second-line parade. Founded in 1993, the Black Men of Labor pays tribute to the accomplishments of Black men in the workplace and celebrates traditional jazz music and culture. Kaamilya was with her neighbor’s three children as well as her two-year-old niece when three men began shooting.
Police say that one of the gunmen walked up to Kaamilya and shot her once in the head. She was pronounced dead at the scene. She was 32 years old. Four others were also injured in the shooting. Although a handgun was found a block away from the shooting, no suspects have ever been arrested.
Kaamilya’s death profoundly impacted her family. Her sister developed a deep depression in the wake of Kaamilya’s death and was unable to leave her bedroom for over a year. She has since recovered enough to obtain employment and take care of her son, but she still feels the pain of her sister’s loss.
“She still ain’t right,” said Kaamilya’s mother.
The entire family has received trauma counseling since Kaamilya’s death, but they are still affected by her loss. However, in her memory, they try to go out to eat yearly for Kaamilya’s birthday.
Even if Mahasin Muhammad never finds out who murdered her daughter, she believes that karma may already be returning the favor.
“No one gets away with anything in this life. Nobody,” she said.
Anyone with information concerning Kaamilya Muhammad’s murder is asked to call the New Orleans Police Department at 504-658-6010. To remain anonymous and possibly be eligible for a reward, call Crime Stoppers at 504-822-1111.
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