An 8-year-old Texas girl who escaped harm in a car accident early Saturday was shot and killed just moments later.
De’Maree Adkins was asleep in the back seat of her mother’s car around 1 a.m. Saturday as they drove through southwest Houston. According to reports, the mother and daughter were just a few minutes from home when a Pontiac Grand Prix blew through an intersection and collided with their vehicle.
De’Maree’s mom, Toyia Thomas’ first instinct was to make sure her daughter was OK. The pair was fine until a third vehicle pulled up next to her Honda and a woman got out of the car and opened fire on Thomas and her daughter.
“I don’t know who it was and I don’t know why she was shooting,” Thomas said.
Thomas says she didn’t realize her daughter had been shot until she attempted to remove her from the vehicle.
“I told her to stay with me, stay with me,” Thomas told the Houston Chronicle, breaking down in tears. “Her body just went limp.”
De’Maree was taken to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Between five and seven shots were fired, investigators say. Whether the shooter was targeting Thomas’ vehicle or someone in the Grand Prix involved in the crash remains unclear.
“We don’t know if they were firing at each other and struck the vehicle, or if once the accident happened, they got angry, jumped out and they shot the vehicle,” Detective David Stark told the newspaper. “We just don’t know.”
De’Maree was a MacGregor Elementary school honor student. She had recently started learning the violin.