12-year-old girl shot and killed in Hartford drive-by shooting; three others injured
Hartford police say they are investigating after a 12-year-old girl was shot and killed after bullets sprayed out of a speeding vehicle in Hartford Thursday evening. Three other people were shot, police said.
Se'Cret Pierce, a seventh grader at Milner Middle School, became Hartford's seventh homicide victim of the year. She was sitting in a parked car when she was shot in the head, police said. She died Friday morning. The three other victims, males ages 16, 18 and 23, were expected to survive.
“I was in the kitchen prepping up food and I heard the shots,” said Delphine Gibson, who lives in the neighborhood. “I heard people shouting and screaming.”
“I came downstairs and I saw that the young lady was [slouched] over in the car – and one guy was on the pavement,” she said. "It was very emotional for a lot of people out here."
At a morning news conference outside police headquarters, Mayor Luke Bronin called it a “painful day in our community.”
“I don’t have the words," Bronin said. "I want to say to Se'Cret's mom and loved ones that we all are so deeply sorry. That we are with them today in grief, in prayer and with love. ... A tragedy like this ripples outward in a community and affects so many."
Police Lt. Aaron Boisvert said Se'Cret was an innocent bystander.
“Very tragic. Very unfortunate. Sickening,” he said.
Investigators searched for suspects Friday. The shooting was captured on surveillance video, but the footage was grainy and police were trying to identify the suspected vehicle, Boisvert said. Authorities believe there were two people in the car.
Officers responded to the area around 48 Huntington St. at approximately 8:42 p.m. Police said they found an 18-year-old male, suffering from a gunshot wound. Officers also located Pierce, suffering from a gunshot wound to her head and abdomen.
The girl was unresponsive and both victims were sent to St. Francis Hospital. The male was stable, officials said, but Pierce was in critical/unstable condition.
Authorities pronounced Pierce dead at 7 a.m. Friday.
Pierce was a student at Milner Middle School, according to Hartford Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez.
Torres-Rodriguez gathered with city officials to talk with reporters Friday morning.
"We will have conversations, group settings, individually with our students, to talk about what it means that a 12-year-old is no longer going to be with us in our classrooms," Torres-Rodriguez said during the news conference. "That is really hard. That is really hard."
While on scene responding to the shooting Thursday, officers were alerted by St. Francis Hospital that two additional males, a 16-year-old and a 23-year-old, were transported by private vehicle for non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.
Authorities said shots were fired from a speeding vehicle. Police are going back to businesses in the area, to look for more security camera video to identify the vehicle that the shots were fired from.
Gibson, who lives in the neighborhood where the shooting took place, said she makes collages for people who are the victims of gun violence.
She showed a reporter her phone, scrolling through images filled with names and faces of people who died – many of them teenagers or young adults.
“It’s so many of them,” Gibson said, before crying. “Look, it’s so many of them.”
The family plans to hold a vigil Saturday at 4 p.m. at the spot where the shooting took place.
Connecticut Public's Mark Mirko, Matt Dwyer, Patrick Skahill and The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story has been updated, including the spelling of the first name of Se'Cret Pierce.