Youngster, 4, shot useless whereas attacked in automotive Mayor now says it could have been a mix-up
A four-year-old girl was shot dead while driving in a car in Tampa on Sunday in an incident the mayor says may have been a case of mix-up.
Sunni Bell’s mother was driving when another car stopped next to them and started shooting, Deputy Police Chief Ruben Delgado told a press conference Monday afternoon.
The altercation resulted in Bell’s mother ramming her silver Infiniti sedan against a pole. Then she turned and found her child dead in the back seat. The shooting was originally described as a “not accidental” attack, but Tampa Mayor Jane Castor has since said that investigators now believe it may have been a case of mix-up.
Police have not revealed any suspects or motives, and officials are offering a $ 9,500 reward for anyone with further information.
“We know people saw what happened,” said Delgado, calling on the community to come forward. “We know there were people in the area when it happened.”
Sunni Bell, 4, drove in the back seat of her mother’s Infiniti sedan in Tampa on Sunday night
Sunni’s mother found out that her daughter died from gunfire that caused her to hit a pole
The girl was first identified by Tampa Fox 13 Station. The identity of the girl’s mother is not yet known.
“I would say, man, introduce yourself,” the family friend and activist Lashaun Tims told the broadcaster in a message to the shooter.
“It’s better for you because every killer needs help, and I say killer because we’re talking about a baby. Take the message to heart. If you know something, you have to say something. ‘
The couple drove, according to Yahoo! News.
According to police, the gunman aimed at the passengers while driving down E Hillsborough Avenue
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, center, said it could have been a “mistaken identity” case on Monday
Police previously said the attack wasn’t accidental, but Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said Bell may not have been the intended target.
“We had a four-year-old girl who lost her life and it could have been a mix-up,” Castor said on Monday.
Castor said she spoke to Sunni’s mother, but no further information was given about the woman’s condition.
The child was taken to hospital but later died of his injuries, authorities said.
Police closed the road for several hours after the accident while investigating the crime scene, and dozens of pieces of evidence were seen on the tarmac. Cartridge cases could be seen on the ground.
There have been no arrests yet.
The severely injured child was reportedly rushed to hospital at midnight after the attack, according to News Channel 8, where he succumbed to his injuries
Police closed the street for several hours while investigating the crime scene and bullet sockets were seen on the ground
For more than five hours, crews were on site with an aerial work platform to repair the damaged power pole.
The police opened the area to traffic again this morning at around 5:30 a.m. except for one lane.
According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, there were 1,285 homicides across Florida in 2020, up from 260 more in 2019.
Castor said there have been 26 murders in Tampa so far this year, up from an annual average of her lower 20s during her tenure as police chief from 2019 to 2015.
She also said police had seized more than 1,000 firearms so far this year, up from an annual average of 800 or 900 during her time at the helm of the police department.