Who was Ronziyah Atkins? Florida girl, 8, killed by stray bullet while playing on porch
8-year-old Florida girl, Ronziyah Atkins shot dead by a gunman while playing on her porch along with cousins
An eight-year-old, Ronziyah Atkins, was killed in a drive-by shooting in Florida on Friday, February 4 evening when she was playing on her family's front porch. The Palm Beach Sheriff's Office released an official statement, saying that the authorities responded to the scene shortly after 7:15 pm in the 500 block of Southeast 1st Street.
Andrew Thomas, 20-year-old bloke was later arrested on Monday after a victim cooperated with the investigation to track down the culprit. Thomas is now charged for first-degree murder of a young girl's senseless death in her own neighborhood of Belle Glade, Florida. Witnesses reported that Ronziyah, who is also referred to as 'Ziyah' and 'Biggs', was playing outside with her siblings and cousins when the shooter opened fire.
Male GOP lawmakers slammed for wearing pearls to gun legislation hearing as gun violence victims testify
While this act of violence occurred, Ronziyah's godbrother Deante Crawford was inside the house and heard her help saving her family before she got shot. "She was telling her niece to go inside and don’t worry about her, just go inside,” The Sun quoted Crawford as saying. The investigating detectives believe that the young girl was not an intended target, however, she was one amongst those who came in the fire range of Thomas (shooter). Atkins was shot at least once and later died of her injuries at a local hospital, according to authorities.
We got’em! Our detectives have made an #Arrest on the horrific drive-by shooting that killed an 8-year-old girl. Thanks to the assist of @CoralSpringsPD a search warrant was issued early this morning and arrested Andrew James Thomas. pic.twitter.com/vNgBT7k1bV— PBSO (@PBCountySheriff) February 7, 2022
Thomas, the lone shooter, was arrested in Coral Springs and charged with first-degree murder with a firearm, attempted first-degree murder with a firearm, and a felony in possession of a firearm. The community and the school authorities mourned Ronziyah in a vigil held outside her home on Saturday where family and friends, including many classmates, gathered with pink and white balloons.
Young Atkins attended the Gove Elementary School, which is a campus of 638 students. The school's administrators have arranged for grief counselors to be available throughout the facilities, as well as an emotional support dog provided by the school district's police department. “We will work together as a Gove family to get through this very sad time together,” said Principal Kim Thomasson in a message to students and parents.
This girl's unprecedented death was unbearable for her family and relatives. Her grandmother was all in reminiscing the attitude and memories of her grandchild. "She just was loveable. She just was a sweet baby," said Melissa McGee, Ronziyah's grandmother. No doubt, the prevailing incidents of gun violence in the country is rising exponentially the each passing day.
The Gun Violence Archive has tallied more than 4,000 people in the US who have died this year due to gun violence. President Joe Biden has vowed to crack down on gun violence, and is urging Congress to pass legislation that would allocate $300 million to hire more community police officers and $200 million for "evidence-based community violence interventions."