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Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: tdall@wwltv.com | Twitter: @taniadall

NEWORLEANS-- September 2, 2014 marks the one-year anniversary of an 11-year-old girl's tragic murder in New Orleans.

Arabian Gayles was one of three people shot inside her home by stray bullets. Police now say the shooting is connected to gang activity.

A year ago, family, friends and neighbors packed the 1300 block of General Ogden to mourn the sudden and violent loss of Arabian.

Fast forward to today and this Carrollton-area neighborhood sits quiet, but the community hasn't forgotten.

'It's hard to believe it's been a year. It's sad still. The mother is still a member of this church. Just talking with her a few weeks ago, she's still dealing with the issue of losing a child,' said Pastor Jermaine Hampton of Prayer Tower Church of God in Christ.

Arabian, along with an 11-year-old cousin and 38-year-old man, were all be hit by stray bullets after gunfire erupted on the block a year ago. She wouldn't survive.

'She was actually sitting on her couch playing with a baby. She was trying to fall asleep and get the baby to sleep. So she was shot and killed holding an infant child,' said NOPD Homicide Unit Commander Detective Sgt. Nicholas Gernon.

NOPD homicide detectives are still busy trying to crack the case. In recent months police confirm new leads have surfaced.

Detective Sgt. Gernon credits a partnership with the Multi-agency Gang Task Force for recent developments. Police now believe Arabian was killed by gang violence: hit by stray bullets that ripped through her front door, one striking her in the head.

'We're really asking those specific people: 'look you know what happened just please come to us and help us put this puzzle together. We can help this family find some closure in this case,' said Detective Sgt. Gernon.

Those were sentiments echoed by the pastor of the church where Arabian attended vacation bible school. The neighborhood church is also where her family said their final good-byes to a little girl whose dreams were cut tragically short.

'Be bold, step forward, provide whatever information they can so that this case can be solved,' said Pastor Hampton of those who know the suspects in this case.

Police say Arabian's 11-year-old cousin and the 38-year-old man who was also shot have recovered from their injuries. Investigators say at least four people may be involved.

If you can help detectives solve this case leave an anonymous tip by calling Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.

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