MIAMI — A 4-year-old girl was fatally shot while she sat in a car outside her grandfather's home near Miami and detectives are trying to determine if another child who was in the vehicle pulled the trigger, police said Sunday.
The children were waiting Saturday evening in a Mercedes-Benz as an adult stood nearby outside in an impoverished neighborhood 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 Det. Roy Rutland said.
A 6-year-old was found holding the weapon after the shooting, the Miami Herald reported, but police would not confirm he fired the fatal bullet.
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 be younger than 10, Rutland said. Investigators were speaking with the 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 also has 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.