Police in Houston are investigating the death of an 8-year-old girl who was shot and killed following a traffic accident.
Latoyia Thomas was driving in the car with her daughter, De’Maree Adkins, in the early morning hours of Feb. 25 when a white Pontiac Grand Prix slammed into their car. The Pontiac that had been speeding or racing alongside a dark sedan.
“The light turned green, and as soon as I got to the light it turned yellow,” Thomas told KPRC. “I couldn’t stop.”
Following the crash, Thomas said the other driver got out of the Pontiac and got into the sedan.
Before leaving the scene, the driver of the sedan reportedly pulled up next to Thomas’ vehicle and lowered the window. That’s when a woman allegedly pointed a gun at Thomas and her daughter and began firing shots into their car.
“I saw the girl let the window down and point the gun out the window, and she just started shooting,” Thomas said.
The sedan then drove away after the shooting.
Thomas was unharmed but her daughter was hit by the shots and later died at a nearby hospital.
“She was a good girl, honor roll student, full of life,” Thomas said. “They took my baby away from me — why? She didn’t deserve this. She didn’t. She was only 8.”
Authorities are now working to find the dark sedan and identify the driver of the Pontiac.
“Whoever you are, lady, justice will be served,” Thomas said. “They will get you.”
“I would do anything for her,” Victoria Jarmon, De’Maree’s cousin, said. “She really meant the world to me. Before the accident, she FaceTimed me, and she told me that she loved me.”
The elementary school she attended released a statement:
“HISD is sad to report that a MacGregor Elementary School student died Saturday. We offer our deepest condolences to the student’s family and friends, as well as to the entire school community. Counselors have been made available to support students and staff at this difficult time.”
A GoFundMe account has been set up in De’Maree’s name. In two days, it had raised more than $20,000.
Houston police are offering a $5,000 reward to anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest.
In a statement, Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said his office will give an additional $10,000 to anyone who helps solve the case.
“Cecilia and I send our deepest sympathies to De’Maree’s family during this unimaginably difficult time,” Abbott said, reports KPRC. “There is no place for heinous acts like this in Texas. We urge anyone who has any information to contact Houston Crime Stoppers immediately to bring those involved to justice.”
To be eligible for the up to $15,000 reward, you can call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-8477, text your tip and TIP610 to 274637 or visit www.crime-stoppers.org.