Family mourns 12-year-old fatally struck by bullet
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (WSVN) -- Authorities are searching for the gunman or gunmen who opened fire near a home, killing a young girl and injuring her grandmother.
The shooting happened Wednesday night, at about 11:15, near a home along 42nd Avenue and Northwest 201st Street. Relatives said 12-year-old girl Tequila Forshee was getting her hair done when she was shot in the head. "She didn't deserve this. She was just getting her hair done for back to school," said Cherina Butler, the victim's aunt.
The 12-year-old girl was pronounced dead on scene. Crews transported the girl's 48-year-old grandmother to an area hospital with a gunshot wound to the leg. "The officers conducted another security sweep and also discovered an adult female who also had been shot," said Miami Gardens Police Detective Mike Wright. "Fire rescue responded, pronounced the 12-year-old deceased and airlifted the adult female to Ryder Trauma."
The victim's grandmother has since been released from the hospital. "I was shot here, and [the bullet] came out here," said Tawanda Frazier-Brown as she showed reporters her bandaged leg.
A small memorial continues to grow outside Tequila's home as more people leave flowers and teddy bears on her doorstep.
Frazier-Brown said she was braiding her granddaughter's hair for her first day of school when the gunfire came flying through the walls. She recalled she ordered her granddaughter, who was sitting in her lap, to the ground. "I'm telling her, 'Tequila, stay down,' and I'm trying to get the other grandbabies to get down; stay down," she said, adding that Tequila died in her arms.
Frazier-Brown, 46, is mourning the loss of her granddaughter who she described as good-natured. "She was so helpful and appreciative. She appreciated anything anybody did for her," she said. She remembers Tequila's last words: "'Thank you, Grandma, for buying all my school clothes. I love you.' That was it."
Tequila's father, Glenn Forshee, remembers the last time he saw his daughter alive. "She gave me a kiss and she said, 'Good night, Daddy,'" he said. "As she walked out, I said to her, 'Titi.' She turned around and she said, 'Huh?' I said, 'I love you.' She said, 'I love you too, Daddy,' and that was the last physical moment I had with my baby."
As relatives tried to process what happened overnight to the young girl, her aunt spoke on behalf of her loved ones. "The family is going crazy. We appreciate your help and support. Keep them in your prayers," said Butler.
The victim's family is pleading for anyone who has information on this shooting to come forward. "All we know is this is gang-related," said Butler. "My niece was shot in the head. If anybody knows anything, seen anything, please, give police a call."
Frazier-Brown said she thinks the shooters were targeting her 16-year-old son. "We believe so; we don't know what happened, because I have no beef with no one, and I have no problems," she said. "I'm loved by everybody."
The victim's father said her never saw his brother use a firearm. "[He] doesn't shoot at people; [he does] fight, he'll fight all day long against whoever will want to fight against him," said Glenn Forshee.
The front of the home was left riddled with bullet holes. Investigators said multiple bullets pierced the walls and front door of the home. The shooting also shattered the rear-windshield of a Nissan Maxima a few feet from the home.
The grieving family members say they want the violence to stop. "That baby didn't deserve it," said a female relative. " Whoever you're after, the people around her don't have nothing to do with that."
Butler said those responsible will have to answer to a higher power. "God knows all. They can run all day, but at the end of the day, they have to stand for judgment themselves. They have to answer to God," she said.
Police have not revealed a motive for the shooting as they continue their investigation.
If you have any information on this fatal shooting, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.
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