An individual suspected to be involved in a road rage shooting on a New Mexico interstate was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon. A four-year-old died in the incident.
The four-year-old girl, identified as Lilly Garcia, was a passenger in a car the suspect fired into. Police chief, Gorden Eden, said that her father was picking her up from school. She later died in the hospital. It was “too soon” to say with certainty whether the person of interest captured was the real assailant, police spokesman Tanner Tixier said. The description of the suspect matched the one given earlier by the police, as reported by Fox News.
The gunman, suspected to be a 20- or 30-year-old Hispanic or white, was driving a maroon or dark red Toyota four-door sedan. The police said that he was wearing a black shirt with gold or yellow writing. Jonelle Tafoya, the woman who was on the road at the time of the incident, said that the vehicle was being driven erratically, as reported by KOB-TV. “We were actually behind the two vehicles that were in the middle of the road rage incident: red truck, red sedan,” Tafoya said. “The red truck was not allowing the red car to pass [and] kept swerving from lane to lane to keep the vehicle behind them.”
She further said that she learned about Lilly’s death later. “I got the notification that something had occurred on my phone that a child had been shot in the head at Unser and I-40, and all I could think was, ‘oh my God. That was it exactly. That was probably the road rage incident we had seen,'” she said.
Speaking with reporters after the shooting, Eden said, “We’re starting to see this throughout our nation. And this is something that should not be happening in Albuquerque, New Mexico, let alone anywhere else in the United States.” Conforming Lilly’s death, Drobik said that it was “a terrible, tragic loss” and a “disrespect for human life.” Parts of the I-40 were closed after the shooting. It reopened late Tuesday.
Rewards have been offered for anyone who has information regarding the assailant that will lead to an arrest. According to the New York Times, the mayor’s office will offer a $10,000 reward, the City Council $10,000, and the F.B.I. $5,000. “We are in desperate need of information to help us resolve the conflicting information we’re getting right now,” Eden said.