View Full Version : (Black) Mom who beat her son to death: ‘He’s gone and it’s all my fault’

The Bobster
01-29-2017, 09:33 AM

Mom who beat her son to death: ‘He’s gone and it’s all my fault’
By Abigail Gepner and Laura Italiano
January 28, 2017 | 2:15pm | Updated

Zarah Coombs and Zamair Coombs

She admitted to bludgeoning her little boy to death with a broomstick — and on Saturday on Rikers Island, she wept inside a prison of guilt and grief of her own making.

“He’s gone and it’s all my fault,” Brooklyn mother Zarah Coombs sobbed in a jailhouse interview. “My life is over.”

“Nothing will ever be the same. My baby is gone,” she said of her son, Zamair, 4, the second eldest of her four children.

Zamair — who loved Barney and Spider-Man and always kissed his two little brothers good night — died in a Brooklyn hospital on Thursday, the victim, cops said, of his own mother’s wrath.

On Wednesday night, she beat her child repeatedly with a broomstick, and left him to die in a plastic storage bin half-filled with water, which she was using as a makeshift bathtub, police said.

Coombs, 26, is now on suicide watch and waiting trial on charges of murder and possession of a weapon.

In a free-ranging and emotional interview, Coombs — dressed in a gray jumpsuit, her hair down in long, twisting locks — welled up with tears as she remembered the boy whose short life she snuffed out.

“He loved food — he wanted to be a chef,” Coombs said.

“He called you a meatball and a chicken nugget — that was his way of saying he loved you.”

She blames her rage on post-partum depression, and said she can’t remember actually striking Zamair, claiming the memory is “blacked out.”

The last thing she does recall is a crescendo of noises from inside the family’s dank basement apartment in Brownsville.

The TV was blaring, both her one-month-old and her one-year-old boys were crying, and Zamair was trying to help her make lunch.

“I just heard noise,” Coombs said.

“Noise from my own head. TV. Crying.”

After her “blackout,” Zamair was still alive.

“He was humming,” Coombs remembered.

“He looked at me, but he didn’t say anything.

“I said, ‘OK, baby. Let’s get you in a warm bath.’”

“I’m sorry,” she said she told the boy.

“I love you, Zamair.”

Coombs said she lay Zamair down for a bath in storage bin.

She then went to breastfeed her one-month-old, during which she fell asleep.

She was awoken by her boyfriend — the children’s father — who had returned home from work to find the boy still in the tub, but unconscious.

“He went under!” the boyfriend told her.

“And I said, ‘What do you mean, under? There’s barely any water. There’s nothing to go under.’”

They called 911, and the boyfriend meanwhile gave Zamair CPR, she said, the boy coughing out water, food, mucous.

Doctors at the hospital revived him three times, she said — to no avail.

“I lost it,” she says of striking the boy.

“That was a panic attack … if I could have banged my head any harder and banged it open [instead of striking Zamair] I would have done it,” she said.

Now, “Every time I close my eyes, I see his face, hear his voice,” she said, sobbing.

“I just talk to him all night.”

Zamair’s murder is the latest in a series of at least nine child abuse deaths currently under investigation by the city’s Department of Investigation.

In Zamair’s case, the city’s Department of Investigation says Administration of Children’s Services investigated two previous abuse allegations against the family in 2015, but both were determined to be unfounded.

“If I had just called 911 before I put him in tub he’d still be alive. My kids would have been taken from me, but Zamair would still be alive,” she said.