HOUSTON – Houston police have arrested a 19-year-old man in the fatal shooting of 8-year-old DeMaree Adkins who was killed while riding asleep in her car.
HPD Chief Art Acevedo and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced the arrest at a press conference Wednesday afternoon inside Houston City Hall.
"The community has played a vital role by working with law enforcement to make this arrest possible. That's what's important here. What happened to DeMaree is not acceptable, and will not be tolerated in our city. Not in Houston," Mayor Turner said.
Chief Acevedo echoed the Mayor's sentiments by asking the community to come forward with any pending information.
“We still have witnesses out there. We want them to understand that they still have a moral obligation to come forward,” HPD Chief Art Acevedo said. “You know who you are.”
The shooting happened around 2 a.m. at the intersection of the Sam Houston Parkway Feeder Road and Fuqua Street. Police said a white Pontiac Grand Prix was either racing or being chased by a second car down W. Fuqua Street when the white car ran a red light. After the driver of the white car ran the light, a third car slammed into the side of the white car.
For unknown reasons, the driver of the second vehicle came up and fired at least five to seven shots at the third car, which had Adkins and her mother inside. The little girl was struck by gunfire. The child was taken to Memorial Hermann where she later died. The mother was also taken to the hospital and released soon after.
The police chief said Adkins was not an intended target, she was an innocent victim, which makes the case even more troubling.
Up until now, police had been searching for the drivers of the two other cars involved in the accident.
Acevedo assured the Adkins family that, even though they are not releasing the name of the suspect, they are confident that they have the right person in custody.
“We stand with you. We are thankful that we made this arrest,” Acevedo said.
The community has arranged a balloon releasing ceremony in memory of the child. It's set to be held 6 p.m. Wednesday at the intersection where the accident took place.