Four men have been arrested Sunday following a drive-by shooting that killed a 13-year-old North Carolina girl who was struck by a bullet as she sat at an outdoor picnic table with other children, police said.
The child, whose name was not immediately released, was shot around 8 p.m. on Saturday in the Charlotte suburb of Monroe, a town of about 36,000 people, according to police.
Monroe police announced the arrest of Javon Demontre Robinson, 20, of Monroe, who was booked into the Union County Jail on one count of first-degree murder on Sunday afternoon.
By Sunday night, police arrested three other men in connection to the girl's death. Darius Roland, 19, Jamarius McLain and Jamarius Crowder, 22, have now all been taken to jail and are being held for first-degree murder with no bond, officials said.
"Our officers have done an amazing job in leaving no stone unturned to ensure the individuals who committed this crime are not only identified, but also apprehended and brought to justice," Monroe Police Chief Bryan Gilliard said in a statement Sunday.
Gilliard declined to comment on a motive for the shooting but said, "This is such a devastating act that has far-reaching implications that was entirely uncalled for."
"These individuals took an innocent life for absolutely no reason, and now a family and community has to live with this forever," Gilliard said.
Gilliard said a black 2005 Ford Freestyle SUV that witnesses told police the shots came from was also recovered.
Gilliard announced the arrests less than 24 hours after pleading with the public to help investigators identify the suspects and asking residents of Icemorlee Street, where the shooting occurred, for any surveillance video that may have captured the incident.
"Someone knows who did this. This was an innocent child, and we need people to be brave and step up so we can catch those responsible for this senseless act of violence," Gilliard said.
Police said the child, who was initially reported to be 12 years old, was sitting with friends on a picnic table when the SUV drove by and someone inside opened fire without warning.
Multiple shell casings littered the scene, but no other victims were shot, police said.
The gravely wounded girl was taken to Atrium Health Union hospital in Monroe, where she was pronounced dead, according to police.
The girl was the second child killed in a drive-by shooting in a suburb of Charlotte in less than a month.
On June 28, 8-year-old Ah’Miyahh Howell was shot to death in Statesville, North Carolina, about 40 miles north of Charlotte, when someone in a Mercedes drove by and opened fire, police said. A 7-year-old boy with Ah'Miyahh at the time was also injured in the shooting.
As Statesville police responded to the fatal shooting, they heard gunshots ring out nearby from a second drive-by shooting that left a 10-year-old boy wounded, officials said.
At least six people, ranging in age from 17 to 19, have been arrested and charged with murder in Ah'Miyahh's death, according to police.