NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson said the NOPD is devoting the full force to find the shooter who killed a little girl in Algiers Sunday night.
"We have to do better. We have to do better as people, as a community, we have to do better,' lifelong Algiers resident, Charles Dillon, said.
The 7-year-old child was shot and killed while riding in a car with her mother and another sibling Sunday night near General DeGaulle and Hendee Street in Algiers. It happened around 8:45 p.m.
Dillon, who lives near the shooting scene, is a youth football coach, teacher, and Mardi Gras Indian.
"We've always had violence, unfortunately. We live in New Orleans, we’ve always had violence, but it has gotten younger and younger and this is senseless to me. These youngsters are losing their lives and they haven’t even gotten a chance to live," Dillon said.
According to the NOPD, the mother and her two children were riding in the car near the intersection when the mother said she heard gunfire.
The mother drove to the 1200 block of Milton Street in Gretna and called police. Neighbors said she drove to family who live on Milton Street for help.
"I heard the mother screaming, 'my baby, my baby,'" one neighbor on Milton Street said. She did not want to be identified.
The neighbor watched as emergency responders tried to save the girl.
"I felt really, really bad for the mother. She was distraught, what could you do?" the neighbor said.
The 7-year-old child was rushed to the hospital where she died. The mother and the other child were not injured, according to the NOPD.
"It’s very disheartening," said NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson. "I can only imagine what this family is going through right now on a holiday weekend, the day after Christmas. What can a 7-year-old have possibly done to be a victim of such a heinous crime?”
"We're getting ready for Mardi Gras and happy times and we stuck into these sad times right now, losing a 7-year-old and that just bothers me, that just bothers me," Dillon said.
A GoFundMe page set up by a family friend identifies the 7-year-old girl killed in Sunday's shooting at Dillan Burton.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell and NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson released the following joint statement:
"We stand in shock over the violence that claimed the life of a 7-year-old child, the day after Christmas. It is unbearably tragic. As a City, as a community - we reject this. How often have we said, 'One is too many?' This one, alone, is too much. This child deserved better of us. Somebody out there knows who pulled the trigger. We need them to come forward. The NOPD is devoting the full force of our resources to holding this shooter accountable - and we will demand the same of our partners in the courts and at the DA's office. this is a time for us to come together. This will not be tolerated by us as leaders of our City or our people."
Anyone with information on the fatal shooting is asked to call Crimestoppers of Greater New Orleans at 822-1111.