Kansas City, Mo., first-grader Angel Hooper and her father, Booker Hooper, set off to a 7-Eleven gas station to pick up some bubble gum after a Friday-evening jog when, police say, a passing vehicle opened fire, shooting into the parking lot.
"Before he could grab her and take her to the ground, she was already on the ground. She passed away," Angel's mother, Charity Guinn, told KCTV.
According to several news sources, the 6-year-old died en route to the hospital from a shot to the head. She was not the intended target. The shooting has sparked outrage among Kansas City residents and police who have grown tired of senseless murders. Protesters have taken to demonstrating in front of the store to demand an end to gun violence.
"Criminals are no longer just killing each other—they are killing our children," Kansas City Mayor Sly James said in a statement Saturday, KCTV reports. "This nonsense must end."
Kansas City police have been tirelessly viewing video-surveillance footage for clues that might lead to an arrest, but as of Monday, KCTV notes, they have received only two calls about the crime.
"Angel has all the power of the Kansas City Police Department behind her," Maj. Karl Oakman, commander of the Police Department's South Patrol Division, said during a press conference, the Associated Press reports. He also noted that police and investigators would not rest until the person responsible was found. "Wherever you are, we will find you," he added.
KMBC notes that the intersection where Angel was shot has been flooded with balloons, notes and stuffed animals.
"Her name, Angel, it really fit her," her mother told KCTV. "She was just so sweet."
"She loved to read books, she loved math, she loved everything," Guinn said. The news station notes that her favorite books were the Berenstain Bears series.
Now Angel's mom is begging whoever saw something—anything—to say something. "Please don't keep quiet. I lost my child to a senseless crime. It's not fair, it's really not fair," Guinn said. "She took the bullet for someone else. My baby's no longer here."
Police are offering a cash reward for tips that lead to an arrest and conviction. Anyone with information about Angel's death is asked to call 816-474-TIPS.