Florida girl, 7, dies after being struck by stray bullet sitting in car
Police are searching for suspects who shot and killed a 7-year-old Florida girl at a shopping plaza over the weekend.
Heydi Rivas Villanueva was sitting in a vehicle with her father on Saturday evening when a stray bullet struck her in the head, killing her, police said.
The shooting happened at around 6 p.m. at a Jacksonville shopping plaza, authorities said. Police said multiple shots rang out during a confrontation between “two unrelated groups,” but the circumstances of the incident weren’t immediately clear.
“Gunfire erupted between the groups and a stray bullet struck Heydi in the head while she was in the vehicle and she later died in the hospital,” Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said during a press conference Sunday.
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office released photos and surveillance video in connection with the case on Sunday, showing the faces of two potential suspects and two vehicles of interest.
The two male suspects fled the scene in an early- to mid-2000s green Nissan Altima, the office said. Details about the make and model of the second vehicle were unknown and there was no way to determine the number of occupants, police said.
“Vehicles in the photos attached are being sought due to being in the parking lot at the time of the shooting,” First Coast Crime Stoppers said in a statement Sunday. “The bright blue vehicle we believe was involved in a traffic crash with one of the vehicles. We are trying to make contact with the driver of the vehicle.”
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry called the shooting “heartbreaking” in a statement on Twitter Saturday.
“My Lord. My God. This is heartbreaking. These are our children,” Curry said. “Our cops are in pursuit of these terrible people. Prayers for the family. Our law enforcement will bring the full force of the law on those who committed this.”
Authorities are offering $11,000 for information leading to an arrest.