An 11-year-old girl was fatally shot Thursday night in a gang-related attack that targeted the wrong North Las Vegas house, police said.
Assistant Chief Pamela Ojeda said at a news conference Friday that multiple people were inside the house at 6705 Courtney Michelle St. and in the line of fire when the shooting started, including a 33-year-old man, a 30-year-old woman, a 14-year-old girl and a 6-year-old girl.
The 11-year-old girl was the only one hit, Ojeda said. She declined to say how many shots were fired into the residence.
“The North Las Vegas Police Department offers its sincerest, heartfelt condolences to the family of the little girl who was killed last night,” Ojeda said. “We can only imagine the heartache they are feeling today. No parent should have to deal with a tragedy like this.”
Police were called at about 9:40 p.m. Thursday to investigate reports of gunshots in the neighborhood in the far northeast valley near the 215 Beltway and Losee Road, spokesman Eric Leavitt said.
Officers arriving at the scene found two people suffering from apparent gunshot wounds — the girl and a 19-year-old man believed to be one of the people involved in the shooting, Leavitt said.
Both were taken to University Medical Center, where the girl later died. Her death was the 29th homicide investigated by North Las Vegas police this year. Five of those homicides happened within the last week, according to records maintained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
A GoFundMe campaign, which links to a news story about the shooting, identifies the 11-year-old girl as Angelina Erives, although the story refers to the girl as Angie Sarabia. The girl’s case was pending with the Clark County coroner’s office Friday afternoon.
Clark County property records show that the house is owned by Alberto Sarabia Jr.
‘Truly something special’
“Angie was truly something special,” the GoFundMe page said. “Anyone who was lucky enough to know her knows that she was the kindest, most gentle, purest soul most of us will ever know.”
Police spokesman Aaron Patty said a neighbor witnessed the shooting and fired with his legally owned handgun at a vehicle that fled the scene, striking the 19-year-old front seat passenger, who was still in critical condition Friday morning with a head wound.
At the news conference, Ojeda said the neighbor is cooperating with investigators and is currently not facing charges.
She said police believe the shooters arrived at the home in a silver 2007 Nissan Altima and exited the car before firing.
Ojeda said investigators believe the shooters intended to target another house in the area, which they believe they have identified. She declined to say whether police had interviewed the residents of the other house, though The Associated Press quoted a North Las Vegas police spokesman as saying that officers did not find anyone at the targeted house and were seeking the residents for questioning.
The AP also reported that a 17-year-old who was driving the Altima was arrested when the car broke down a few blocks away from the scene of the shooting. The driver was being held as a juvenile and was expected to face murder, attempted murder and conspiracy charges, it said.
It also quoted the spokesman as saying that authorities were searching for three others who fled the vehicle.
Ojeda declined to confirm those details, citing the ongoing investigation.
If the 19-year-old survives his injuries, he will face murder, conspiracy to commit murder and four counts of attempted murder charges, Ojeda said.
‘My heart is still racing’
Candy wrappers littered the sidewalk across the street from the home early Friday. Dozens of balloons, stuffed animals, cards and flowers with condolences were placed in the driveway by Friday evening.
At least a dozen bullet holes were visible at the front of the home, including in a front window, the garage door and the roof. Shattered glass was scattered across the road on John Bevy Court, just around the corner.
“This is horrible,” said neighbor Dee Davis, clutching her hoodie as she stood outside the home Friday morning. “My heart is still racing.”
She was asleep on her mother’s couch next door when the shooting started, she said. She scrambled to hide under the couch and called out to her mother and children, who were sleeping upstairs.
Davis and her mother did not know the shots came from next door until they heard the screaming.
“The mother was outside, and she was yelling, ‘That’s my baby. Let me go with her,’” Davis said.
As police took down the tape blocking one entrance to the neighborhood Friday morning, two young girls laughed and played at their bus stop a few feet away.
“It’s so sad because it was just Halloween, and everyone was going door to door in their costumes,” said Daranice Barry, who has lived in the neighborhood for about five years.
She said she heard two sets of gunshots Thursday night, but that there were “too many to count.” The neighborhood is full of families with young children, she said. It is not uncommon to see them running through the streets in the morning on their way to school.
Davis said the family that lives in the home on Courtney Michelle is quiet. She has not spoken to them much, but she described them as friendly. She said a man who lives in the home always waves and says hello when she sees him watering plants out front.
The woman covered her mouth for a moment as she looked at the home.
“These people don’t bother nobody,” she said. “I don’t understand why this happened.”
Anyone with information about the shooting may contact North Las Vegas police at 702-633-9111. Anonymous tips may be left with Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555.
Contact Max Michor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0365. Follow @MaxMichor on Twitter. Contact Rio Lacanlale at email@example.com or 702-383-0381. Follow @riolacanlale on Twitter. Contact Katelyn Newberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.