A Georgia sheriff is calling for the public’s help in tracking down the “coward” individuals responsible for shooting and killing an 8-year-old girl in a drive-by attack over the weekend.
Arbrie Anthony, of Augusta, was pronounced dead at a hospital Saturday night after suffering a gunshot wound to the head outside her apartment complex home, according to Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree. His office has now released surveillance images of a red-orange Jeep Compass TrailHawk with a large black stripe on the hood in hopes of tracking down at least two suspects, who have not yet been identified.
“We do have some leads… some people have called in,” Roundtree told reporters Monday. “But again, this is an 8-year-old little girl who was shot in the head in her own front yard. Our phones should be ringing off the hook. You don’t get a pass on this one and that is why we want the public to know that we need their help.”
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Roundtree said investigators don’t believe the shooting was random but noted there is no reason to believe Anthony was the intended target. At this point a motive has yet to be determined, but nothing — including gang violence — has been ruled out, he added.
“We are following up on every lead that comes in but I cannot and will not accept the fact that no one knows who these suspects are,” Roundtree said. “There are individuals in this community that knew why they were there, knew what they were there for and knew who they were after but yet they’ve failed to come forward with this information.”
The sheriff said investigators first responded to a shots fired call around 7:25 p.m. Saturday and when they arrived, discovered that Anthony had been taken to a local hospital in a private vehicle.
Roundtree said there were horses for children to pet at the location of the shooting, where a social gathering was taking place. One of the animals died after being hit by gunfire, while a car was struck by bullets as well.
In total there were 5 to 10 shots fired out of the passenger-side window of the Jeep vehicle, according to Roundtree, who described it as a “drive-by shooting.”
“All gun violence is senseless but I think these are cowards, these individuals,” he said.
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Friends and relatives of Anthony held a vigil for her Sunday.
“She was out here, she was playing like she always does. She wanted to pet the horse, she saw horses, and she just got murdered senselessly,” said Oluwatayo George, Arbrie’s cousin, according to the Associated Press.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.