An 11-year-old girl was walking home after getting milk for her family when she was shot and killed in Syracuse, New York, officials said.
Brexialee Torres-Ortiz was struck by a gunman in a car who was firing at a different person, Syracuse Police Chief Joe Cecile said at a news conference Tuesday, calling it a "true tragedy."
Brexialee was at a corner store that was about 100 yards from her apartment, he said.
Officers responded to the shooting at about 7:45 p.m. Monday and found Brexialee shot in the mid-section, Cecile said. She was taken to a hospital where she died, he said.
"We lost a special young lady," Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said. "My heart breaks for her family, her friends, her classmates. It is an unimaginable pain."
A 19-year-old man was also shot at the scene, Cecile said. He was struck in the leg and is expected to survive, according to the chief.
It's not clear if the 19-year-old was the target, Cecile said. There's no apparent connection between the 19-year-old and Brexialee, he added.
No arrests have been made and Cecile pleaded with the community to come forward with tips.
"I would hope that the public, that the community, would be more forthcoming on an incident involving a little 11-year-old girl who had nothing to do with crime," he said.
Brexialee loved to dance, Cecile said. She was president of her fifth-grade class and part of her school's high honors program, the chief said.
Cecile said he talked to Brexialee's principal who spoke of "how much she cared about others and showed it every day."
Jessica Barnett's 11-year-old daughter, Jayonis, was friends with Brexialee at school.
Barnett called her "a bright, young, little girl."
As for Jayonis, Barnett said she thinks her daughter is still in shock. She said she plans to talk to her daughter about Brexialee every day and "get her some things to remind her of her."
"This is my first time dealing with something like this for my child," she said.