Hopewell, VA: Sad news came out of Hopewell, Virginia last week when Hopewell Police Chief A.J. Starke confirmed that someone shot an 8-year-old in the back, killing her in a drive-by shooting. The girl, later identified as Paris Moore, was just playing outside and only days away from her birthday.
There has been very limited information regarding the shooting or whether it is gang related, targeted revenge, or completely random. Investigators are asking local residents to review any door camera or security camera footage for any potential tips and leads. They are still looking for a motive but have announced they are looking for a light colored four door sedan which was seen in the area.
According to the Hopewell Police Department spokesperson, they stated:
“Witnesses reported seeing a light colored four door sedan with tinted windows speeding through the area at the time of the shooting that may be related to the homicide. The investigation is ongoing and the motive for the shooting is unknown at this time.”
The motive could vary greatly. If it is gang related, it could simply be revenge and to merely hurt an innocent person that may be related to another gang member. But an 8 year-old knows no enemies- she only knows how to play and be happy.
Another possible scenario is misidentification of a revenge plot. The shooter may have incorrectly believed the child was someone else he wanted to enact revenge on.
A Grieving Family
The family is still in shock, especially her mother, who took the time to voice her disbelief. In a local news coverage of the shooting, the mother stated:
“I’m lost. I want to know why. My baby was riding her bike. It’s not fair.”
She continued to detail the unbelievable circumstances:
“I know you [the shooter] saw them. But to shoot her in her back?!? My baby was trying to come home- she was trying to get home.”
Family members and local church parishioners of the young girl set up a memorial for her nearby, intending to keep her memory alive. The family were regular participants of the local church. The distraught mother continued of her young daughter. She told the local media that:
“She went to church every Wednesday. She did not miss a Wednesday of church.”
The family was making plans to celebrate another important day after the New Year- Paris’ birthday party.
The mother said:
“We’re supposed to be planning birthday parties, not funerals. This is crazy to me.”
Although the mother understands nothing will bring her baby back, she still wants justice. She still wants the shooter to come forward and do the right thing.
The grief stricken mother said:
“If anyone wants to, you know, help out… tell me who did it. That’s it, that’s the biggest thing anybody can do. Just tell me who did it.”
“At least give an apology to my kids- not that it’s going to mean anything to us. But give us an apology. Be a man. You were shooting a gun like a man, be a man, just come forward!”
A Recent Shooting Nearby
Authorities have stated that another shooting incident occurred days prior nearby. At approximately 9pm pm December 29th, an individual arrived to the hospital with a non-life threatening gunshot wound. Authorities are uncertain if the shootings are related.
The spokesperson stated:
“Further investigation revealed that that incident occurred in the 1300 block of New York Ave where some homes were damaged by gunfire. The injury is considered non-life threatening and he is expected to recover from his injury. The motive for the shooting is unknown at this time as we continue to investigate.”
Both shootings occurred within a short amount of time from one another and less than a half mile away.
If you and anyone you know have information that can help bring justice to Paris, please contact Hopewell Criminal Investigations Unit at 804 541 2284.
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