Girl, 7, ‘Not Right’ After Seeing Sister, 13, Shot Dead on Florida School Bus
(MIAMI) — A young Florida girl is “not the same” after seeing her older sister, 13, shot dead on a school bus early Tuesday, allegedly by a 15-year-old boy.
“She’s not right. She’s not the same 7-year-old after seeing what she saw,” the mother of the two girls told reporters in an interview in English and Spanish. “She was just screaming. So hurt.”
The 13-year-old shooting victim, Lourdes Guzman-DeJesus, was sitting a few rows from her 7-year-old sister Tuesday morning in Homestead, Fla., when the 15-year-old shot her, according to the Miami-Dade Police Department.
The 15-year-old is in custody and faces charges of manslaughter and carrying a concealed firearm. Though the charges allow that the shooting could have been an accident.
Police responded to shots fired inside a private bus around 6:45 a.m., and found several dazed students, including Guzman’s little sister, officials said.
“It’s traumatic, and now you are going to have to question them and ask them what they saw,” Miami-Dade County police detective Alvaro Zabaleta told ABC News. “It’s a sad situation.”
Lourdes, known to her family and friends as “Jina,” was shot an unknown number of times and airlifted to Miami Children’s Hospital, where she died from her injuries, police said.
The boy’s first first court hearing was Wednesday morning, where it was decided he would remain in juvenile custody until Dec. 11, according to the Miami Herald. On that date, prosecutors will decide whether he will be charged as an adult.
“He has to pay for what he did,” DeJesus told reporters.
The shooting happened just a few minutes away from Palm Glades Preparatory Academy, a charter middle school that the victim attended.
A firearm was recovered on the scene and all of the students, plus the bus driver, were transferred to the homicide unit, where Miami-Dade County police began the delicate task of questioning the students about what happened, officials said. The bus did not have a surveillance camera.
Other officers combed the scene for clues and gathered the students’ belongings, police said.
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