By Mallika Kallingal, Michelle Watson and Andy Rose, CNN
A 7-year-old girl was fatally shot while in a vehicle with her mother and 5-year-old sister in Glendale, Arizona, on Thursday morning, and Terriance D. Armstrong Jr., 29, has been arrested in connection with the shooting, according to Glendale Police.
Armstrong has been charged with first-degree murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon among other charges, according to Maricopa County Justice Court documents.
The court documents state a verbal altercation started between Armstrong and the girl’s mother’s boyfriend just after midnight Thursday in a parking lot. Armstrong told police he fired a “warning shot” as the victims’ vehicle left, then followed them in his car.
Police found one shell casing on the ground after arriving on the scene and and about 10 minutes later were told a girl had been shot and had been taken to the hospital. When officers arrived at the hospital, they found the child had died from multiple gunshot wounds, according to court documents.
Armstrong admitted firing shots at the other car, but said he did so only after the other man fired at him first, according to the police. But investigators say they found no evidence of a gun in possession of the victims or their vehicle.
Court documents also reveal police found approximately 3,000 fentanyl pills in the vehicle Armstrong was driving.
Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers released a statement of condolence for the victim’s family. “Our police department worked diligently to find and apprehend the suspect of this terrible crime. It’s tragic when these types of events happen, especially to the most innocent,” Weiers said in the statement.
Police have not released the name of the girl or the family.
CNN has contacted the public defender’s office to find out if Armstrong has retained an attorney.
The incident comes after two 9-year-old girls were shot in separate incidents in the Houston, Texas, area this week.
Arlene Alvarez died after she was shot while in a car with her family on Monday by a man who opened fire after he was robbed at gunpoint at a drive-through ATM. And in another incident, Ashanti Grant had to put in a medically induced coma after she was shot in the head during an apparent road rage incident that took place on Tuesday night when Ashanti, her mother, father and 11-year-old brother were on their way to the grocery store.
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