Girl, 7, fatally shot in drive-by outside Detroit-area home

March 19, 2022 GMT

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — A 7-year-old girl was killed in what authorities say was a gang-related drive-by shooting while sitting in the rear seat of a car in the driveway of her home northwest of Detroit.

Ariah Jackson had just arrived outside her home in Pontiac after school Friday when a male passenger in a late-model, orange Chevrolet Blazer fired at least six shots at the car, the Oakland County sheriff’s office said.

The girl’s mother and three other children also were in the car. Ariah was struck once in the back of her head. Her mother’s head was grazed by a bullet. Ariah’s sister and two cousins were not injured.

The girl’s father took Ariah from the car into the home shortly before deputies arrived. Ariah was rushed in a patrol car to a hospital, where she later was pronounced dead.

Ariah’s mother, 30, told deputies that she was waiting at a school bus stop for her two children and two nieces when she noticed an orange SUV with two males inside drive by. Once the children were off the bus, she drove home.

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The sheriff’s office did not say who the target of the shooting was, but said it has identified a person of interest.

“All too often, we see gang members seeking to perpetrate violence against rivals strike innocent victims in the process,” Sheriff Michael Bouchard said in a news release. “This is completely unacceptable, and the tragic loss of this child will not be tolerated.”

Pontiac is about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northwest of Detroit.