7-Year-Old Girl Fatally Shot While Riding in Car With Family: Police

A 7-year-old girl was shot and killed in New Orleans while she was riding in the car with her family, according to police.

The New Orleans Police Department (NOPD), who did not release the identity of the 7-year-old girl, said that the incident occurred on Sunday night at around 8:45 p.m. CST.

The NOPD said in a press release that they first received reports of the incident from the Gretna Police Department, who alerted them that a shooting occurred near the intersection of General DeGaulle Drive and Hendee Street in New Orleans. The release said NOPD officers were told by Gretna police that a 7-year-old girl was being transported to a nearby hospital after being shot. Gretna is just over the parish line from New Orleans.

According to the NOPD, the shooting occurred while the girl's mother, whose name was also not released, was driving with her two children located in the backseat. While the mother was driving near the intersection of General DeGaulle Drive and Hendee Street, she told officers that she heard gunfire.

Police said the girl's mother drove to the 1200 block of Milton Street in Gretna and called the Gretna Police Department to report the gunfire. During the incident, the car was hit by gunfire and the 7-year-old girl was hit.

The 7-year-old girl was transported to a nearby hospital shortly after police arrived but she was pronounced dead at the hospital.

"The driver and other child that were inside of the vehicle during the gunfire were not injured," the NOPD said.

According to the press release, the incident is currently under investigation and police said they do not have a motive for the shooting yet.

"The Orleans Parish Coroner's Office will release the identity of the victim and conduct an autopsy to determine the exact cause death," the press release said. "Currently, investigators are in the process of gathering evidence and information to identify the person(s) involved in this incident, as well as a motive."

"Citizens with information that can help solve this crime are asked to call CRIMESTOPPERS at 822-1111, or toll-free at 1-877-903-STOP(7867)," the release continued.

New Orleans Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson told the Associated Press the incident is "very disheartening."

"I can only imagine what this family is going through right now on a holiday weekend, the day after Christmas," Ferguson said, according to the Associated Press. "What can a 7-year-old have possibly done to be a victim of such a heinous crime?"

Newsweek reached out to the New Orleans Police Department for further comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

New Orleans Police Department
The New Orleans Police Department is currently investigating an incident where a 7-year-old girl was shot and killed while riding in the car with her family. Above, New Orleans police officers stand guard at the Jefferson Davis monument on May 4, 2017 in New Orleans. Justin Sullivan/Getty