Girl (7) dies days after being hit by a stray bullet while shopping at Christmas

According to local media reports, a seven-year-old Georgian girl died days after she was hit by a stray bullet during a Christmas shopping outing with her family. Kennedy Maxie died Saturday night at a local hospital where she was being treated, the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office told CBS station WGCL.

The girl lived in Cobb County and attended a local elementary school, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“Our hearts are broken by the senseless assassination of Kennedy,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said in a statement to the station. “While the Atlanta Police Department has significant clues in the concern of those responsible, it does not erase the pain felt when a beautiful, lively and loving child is tragically taken from her family.”

Kennedy Maxie

Atlanta Police via WGCL

According to the Atlanta Police Department, the girl was shot in the head while driving with her mother and aunt in a car on Dec. 21 after leaving a popular Atlanta mall. The child’s aunt told police she heard gunshots, and when she realized the child had been hit by a gunfire, she drove on to a hospital.

Investigators believe the shot was possibly fired during a dispute between several men in the parking lot of a Saxon Fifth Avenue, Lieutenant Pete Malecky of Atlanta said last week. Malecky said police do not believe the child, the car or any of her family members were the target of the gunfire. It is not clear if one or more people opened fire during the dispute, Malecky said. No one else was injured.

Malecky said investigators combed through a surveillance video in an attempt to identify a suspect or suspects.

“We at APD become ill when we hear that another person has been shot, seriously injured or killed by gun violence,” the department said in a statement. “It is especially disturbing when small children are the victims of these acts.”

The child’s death comes as a result of murders in the Atlanta area and across the country, increasing sharply during the coronavirus pandemic. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the killings this year marked 155 murders in the city, making 2020 the deadliest year in the city since at least 1998. With more days until the end of the year, the number of murders in 2020 is still in Atlanta by more than 50% higher than last year, when police investigated 99.

A study of the homicide data of 21 U.S. cities, including Atlanta, by the end of October found that there were 610 more homicides in the summer and fall of 2020 than in the same period in 2019. Homicide rates rose by 42% during the summer increased and by 34% in the fall compared to the summer and fall of 2019, the study found.

“We’re seeing a unique increase in gun violence here in the Metro and nationally, and that’s very worrying,” Atlanta Interim Police Chief Rodney Bryant said.

A reward of $ 15,000 is offered for information leading to an arrest of the child’s death.