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Mom of girl killed in Camden issues plea for justice

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It's been two weeks since 8-year-old Gabrielle Carter was caught in a crossfire and shot in the head while playing outside. (WPVI)

It's been two weeks since 8-year-old Gabrielle Carter was caught in a crossfire and shot in the head while playing outside.

There have been no arrests, and police say the Camden, New Jersey community has remained largely silent despite a reward for information that has risen to more than $75,000.

On Tuesday, her mother spoke exclusively with Action News, issuing an emotional plea to the public - and recounting her nightmare.

It happened around 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 24th.

"I heard the gunshots. I run to the window and I say "Gabby, Ariel?" And I didn't hear anything, and I hear my neighbor across the streets saying "Carter, your baby! Carter, your baby," Meresa Carter said.

She bolted out of bed and went straight to her 8-year-old daughter. Gabby was playing across the street, at a friend's home when the gunfire broke out.

"I just darted out of my house and my baby was slumped in the neighbor's doorway, her head was in the doorway, and my baby was on the steps," she said.

Carter, who was eight months pregnant at the time, tried to help her gravely injured child.
"I just leaned over her and was whispering in her ear like, 'mommy is here, mommy is here, I'm not going anywhere, stay with me breathe, breathe,' because I didn't know what else to do," she said. "I was panicking. I was so scared."

Gabby was shot in the back of the head, and the bullet went through her brain. There was nothing doctors at Cooper University Hospital could do. She was pronounced dead two days later.

Though the emotional support from the community has been overwhelming, it's not translating into calls to the tip line.

"If it was me, and I knew something, I'm snitching, because that's an innocent child," she said.

Carter gave birth to a baby boy a week ago and named him King Gabriel, after the older sister who was so anxious to meet him. She struggles with the joys of a newborn and the unimaginable grief of tragically losing a child.

"It feels like I'm in a bad dream, and I'm going to wake up, my baby is going to come home and everything is going to be fine," she said. "And that's not going to happen."

Anyone with information about the identity of the suspect or the incident is urged to contact Camden County Prosecutor's Office Detective Sherman Hopkins at (856) 225-8623 or Camden County Police Department Detective Michael Ross at (856) 757-7420.

Related Topics:
new jersey newsshootingCamden
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