A horrifying road rage shooting outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico, left a four-year-old girl dead on Tuesday, shot in head by a driver on Interstate 40 who is now the subject of a police manhunt. But cops have one huge problem as they try to find answers in this sickening tragedy. They have absolutely no idea who their suspect actually is.
“We are in desperate need of information. Whatever information you have. Even if you think you saw something, please call,” begged Albuquerque Police Department Chief Gorden Eden, speaking at the scene of the road rage slaying on Tuesday.
“People had to have seen that. They had to have seen other vehicles in the area so we’re just begging the community, step forward. Let’s help this family,” the chief said.
Police have not released the name of the little girl slain in the shooting, but a media report on KOB-TV said that she is part of a large and close-knit family from Albuquerque. Her mom and dad were reportedly also in the vehicle when the unidentified road rage driver opened fire, but they escaped unscathed.
Albuquerque police investigating scene where a 4-year-old was shot in the head. pic.twitter.com/VwAqky2jho
— Shaun Griswold (@shaun505) October 20, 2015
The girl’s family members gathered at University of New Mexico Hospital where she was transported after a Bernalillo County sheriff’s deputy found the family’s red pickup truck, pictured at the top of this page, pulled over on the side of the highway with the parents and wounded little girl inside. The pickup had a bullet hole in the back windshield, police said.
The terrible incident happened at about 3 p.m. local time — 5 p.m. Eastern — police believe.
“The dad explained there was some type of road-rage incident,” Simon Drobik, an Albuquerque police spokesperson explained, as reported by KOAT-TV News. “From what we understand, the cars were both moving. One car pulled up next to the other car and started firing rounds into that vehicle.”
The stretch of eight-lane freeway was heavily trafficked at the time of the shooting, Eden said, but witnesses have given conflicting reports of how the attack transpired.
But one witness spoke to KOB-TV, describing a frightening and apparently senseless confrontation between two fast-moving vehicles.
“We were actually behind the two vehicles that were in the middle of the road rage incident: red truck, red sedan,” Jonelle Tafoya told the station. “The red truck was not allowing the red car to pass [and] kept swerving from lane to lane to keep the vehicle behind them.”
Alarmed, Tafoya — whose own daughter was in her car — pulled off I-40 at the nearest exit to avoid any possible danger. She said the news of the road rage shooting soon came through as an alert on her phone.
“All I could think was, ‘oh my God. That was it exactly. That was probably the road rage incident we had seen.'”
Police said that they have a description of the suspect’s vehicle — which Tafoya called a red sedan — but as of late Tuesday night had no luck in finding it. They also said they are not certain exactly where the road rage driver fired the shots at and into the pickup truck — leading them to close down I-40 outside of the largest city in New Mexico for hours as they hunted for bullet casings or other potential evidence.
“We have absolutely no suspect information at this time,” Eden said. “We are in desperate need of information to help us resolve the conflicting information we’re getting right now.”
The chief called the tragedy “One hundred percent preventable.”
“This should have never happened. This is a complete disrespect of human life. We’re starting to see this throughout our nation, and this is something that should not be happening in Albuquerque, New Mexico — let alone anywhere else in the United States,” the police chief said, pleading for public help in bringing the road rage killer to justice.
[Featured Photo via Shaun Griswold Twitter Feed]