RIVERRIDGE, La. -- After a bubbly 7-year-old girl was killed by a stray bullet whille she slept, her grief stricken family is now speaking out.
The tragedy is as devastating as they come, but the story bears new grief when you learn of the journey her father must now take to cope.
To everyone who met her, Paige DeJean was a 7-year-old princess full of life and laughter, smiles and hope. But her ball of light was put out too soon.
'That was the worst Sunday of my life,' said Herny DeJean, the young girl's father.
The now grieving DeJean just traveled more than 7,000 miles to get back to his Hammond home.The staff sergeant with the Louisiana Army National Guard was stationed in Kuwait when he got the call.
'I answered the phone will all intentions thinking it was Paige on the other side and when I heard her mom's voice ... I knew something was wrong.'
It was early Sunday morning when investigators began piecing together what happened.Bullet holes were found along the wall of a River Ridge apartment complex.
Just moments before, an innocent Paige was fast asleep, up until she woke up crying with gun shot wounds to the neck.
'These are serious, knucklehead, idiot criminals that are out on the streets of our parish,' said Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand.
The Sheriff's Office says it has arrested 21-year-olds Andre Preston of Kenner and Roger Chairs of Jefferson in connection with the shooting.Both now face charges of first-degree murder as Henry tries to face life without Paige.Her purple room is just as she left it.
'It never in a million years, I would have thought when I return from deployment... I'd have to come home to bury my child.'
The family says despite the pair of arrests, they are still without closure. They say they'll never have closure because Paige's life is now gone.
'My heart still bleeds,' said DeJean.'I'm still hurting.'
Henry is now trying to find comfort in his family's newest edition.His wife just gave birth to a daughter three weeks ago, and this is Henry's first time seeing her.
'I'm just almost kinda confused,' he said.'I'm happy to see my child but then I'm also devastated cause I have to bury my first born.'
Leaving Henry with warm words of advice for parents everywhere.
'Before your baby goes off to sleep, give him or her a kiss, tuck them into bed, hug them, let them know you love them because ... like in my situation, I can't do that for Paige anymore.'