KANSAS CITY, Mo. >> A 6-year-old girl was killed during a drive-by shooting while shopping for bubblegum with her father at a convenience store in Kansas City, according to police, who are vowing to find those responsible for her death.
Hundreds of people turned out Sunday evening for a vigil to remember Angel Hooper, who died two nights earlier after being shot at the south in the south part of the city, The Kansas City Star reported. Angel and her father had stopped for gum after a jog when someone in a passing car opened fire.
“Angel has all the power of the Kansas City Police Department behind her,” said Maj. Karl Oakman, adding that investigators wouldn’t rest until her killers are found. “Wherever you are, we will find you.”
The girl was at the store with her father and a friend when she was shot in the head Friday evening, and she died at a nearby hospital, according to a police report. Police Capt. Tye Grant told the newspaper that shots were fired from a passing vehicle, and police were working over the weekend on some leads and planned to check the store’s surveillance tapes.
“Criminals are no longer just killing each other — they are killing our children. This nonsense must end,” Mayor Sly James said in a statement Saturday.
Several speakers at Sunday’s rally also criticized violence in the community. They also praised Angel as a positive, smart child who enjoyed singing at church and helping others. Her first-grade teacher, Kimberly Walter, said Angel was “a little walking genius” who had qualified for a gifted and talented program.
Angel’s 11-year-old cousin was injured in a drive-by shooting, and in a similar shooting at age 9.
Angel’s mother, Charity Guinn, said she was thankful for the support her family has received.
“It helps a lot to know that people care,” she said.
The store has been the site of other shootings in recent years, including in June when a shootout occurred in the store parking lot. Bullets hit the store but no one was injured.