NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Coroner's Office identified the girl who was fatally shot the day after Christmas while riding in a car with her mother and sibling as 7-year-old Dillan Burton.
Authorities say the mother and her two children were near the intersection of General DeGaulle Drive and Hendee Street when she heard gunfire. The mother drove to the 1200 block of Milton Street and called the police.
"I heard the mother screaming, 'My baby. My baby.," one neighbor on Milton Street said.
The child was rushed to a hospital where she later died. Police say the mother and other child were not injured.
"Why would they do this to my child? Why would they do this to Dillan?" the girl's mother, who was identified as 24-year-old Maquisha Burton, told the Times-Picayune | New Orleans Advocate.
"Dillan didn't deserve this. My baby didn't deserve this," Burton told the newspaper, crying. "Jesus, why my baby? Why? Why? Why? Why my child?"
The New Orleans Police Department is asking the public's help to identify a truck they believe was used in the shooting. Police describe the truck as a newer model white or silver Chevrolet pickup truck with a bedcover. The police department released an image of the truck that was captured on a nearby security camera.
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to support the family after the tragedy. As of Tuesday afternoon the campaign had raised more than $26,000.
"Dillan Burton was a vibrant, jovial, loving little girl. Her life was cut short tragically on 12/26. No parent should have to experience burying their child," the campaign's webpage says.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell and NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson issued a joint statement calling the shooting "unbearably tragic."
"How often have we said, 'One is too many?' This one, alone, is too much. This child deserved better of us," Cantrell and Ferguson wrote.
City leaders are calling for anyone with information about the shooting to come forward. Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers of Greater New Orleans at 822-1111 or NOPD'd homicide unit at 504-658-5300.