Who killed Jonshel Alexander? 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' star, 22, fatally shot

Jonshel Alexander and an unidentified man were shot while sitting in a vehicle in New Orleans


                            Who killed Jonshel Alexander? 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' star, 22, fatally shot
(L-R) Actresses Jonshel Alexander and Quvenzhane Wallis at an After Party on June 25, 2012, in New Orleans, Louisiana (Skip Bolen/Getty Images)
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New Orleans Police are on the lookout for a suspect who is believed to have shot former child actress Jonshel Alexander. The 22-year-old was reportedly shot and killed on November 29 while sitting in her car in the city. A motive for the crime has not yet been ascertained nor the name of the person responsible. Police have, however, released stills from CCTV footage and are now asking the public for help identifying him.

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Alexander is the latest celebrity to be gunned down as gun violence escalates all over the US. In mid-November, rapper Young Dolph was shot at a cookie store in Memphis and tragically died. In June, another rapper, VNZA, was killed in a Missouri bar. In July, TokToker Swavy was gunned down in Delaware, at the age of 19. Numerous other rappers have been the victim of gun violence this year, with few, like SpotemGottem surviving.

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A native of New Orleans, Alexander shot to fame as a 12-year-old for her role in 'Beasts of the Southern Wild', an Academy Award-nominated drama that famously cast only Louisiana natives for lead roles. Her senseless and shocking death has left many of her castmates and fans shocked with tributes now pouring in on social media.

Who shot Jonshel Alexander?

Over three days since the shooting, police have little information on who shot Alexander and why. So far, surveillance footage indicated a Black male was at the scene at the time and is being treated as the suspect. The man is seen wearing a blue mask in the photo, making it harder for the police to identify him. "#NOPD seeking assistance to ID & locate pictured unknown black male re: Nov. 27 homicide in 1500 blk of N. Claiborne Ave. Anyone w/additional info is asked to contact #NOPD Homicide Unit Det. Brittany Kimbrough at 504-658-5300 or call @CrimestopperGNO at 504-822-1111," the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) tweeted on November 30.

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According to reports, the star was sitting in a car with another unidentified man in the 1500 block of North Claiborne Avenue at about 9 pm. They were then approached by the suspect, and shot. Alexander was declared dead at the scene, while the other man managed to drive himself to the hospital. It's unclear who this man is, or what the seriousness of his injuries is since police have declined to share details on that front. 

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Since the tweet calling for help on November 30, police have not issued any further updates to the case. Nola.com did report police have located a maroon truck they suspect was used by the shooter, but it's unclear if the vehicle has been impounded yet. 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' is the only film Alexander appeared in, and the film's director Benh Zeitlin said he was "completely devastated" to hear about her death. He's reportedly been in touch with Alexander's family since.  

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Police ask that anyone with information call homicide detective Brittany Kimbrough at (504) 658-5300 or call Crimestoppers of Greater New Orleans Inc. anonymously at (504) 822-1111 or (877) 903-7867.