MIAMI (AP) — A 4-year-old girl was fatally shot while she sat in a car outside her grandfather's Miami home, and now detectives are trying to determine if another child who was in the vehicle pulled the trigger, police said Sunday.
The children were waiting in a white Mercedes-Benz Saturday evening as an adult stood nearby outside in an impoverished neighborhood with scattered storefront churches and boarded-up businesses on the northern edge of Miami-Dade County.
Rahquel Carr was shot in the upper body with a handgun believed to have been fired from inside the vehicle, Miami-Dade Police Detective Roy Rutland said. The owner of the weapon and the car was not present and has not been charged.
At least two other children were in the vehicle at the time, all believed to have been younger than 10, Rutland said. Investigators were speaking with those children, which Rutland said was a delicate process because of their age.
"We are interviewing those kids and we're trying to ascertain if one of the other children shot the kid," he said.
The Miami-Dade Office of the State Attorney will review the case to determine if any charges will be filed. An autopsy will also be done to determine how many times the girl was shot, and where.
The adult who was standing nearby was not identified and has also not been charged.
Armando Alvarado, 58, was sitting inside his home three doors down when he heard children screaming. He went outside and saw a woman crying for help on her cell phone.
"She was crying desperately," he said.
Police arrived within a minute, and a rescuer carried the girl into an ambulance, he said. Her limbs were limp and blood was on her face. The girl died a short time later after being airlifted to a hospital.
Rahquel's grandfather also was hospitalized because he was overcome with emotion. The two were very close, and he would sometimes watch the girl while she rode her bike outside.
"The grandfather just loved her so much," said Michael Hardaway, 55, who lives next door. "He couldn't take it."
On Sunday, the family gathered with a minister at the home but declined to comment. Police tape had been removed, with only a large, orange, spray-painted "X'' remaining in front of the driveway.