Officers found 13-year-old Alezuana Carter inside a home on the 1500 block of Overington Street suffering from a gunshot wound to the mouth on April 18, 2021, around 10:58 p.m. She was transported to an area hospital where she was later pronounced dead.
On Friday, July 23, homicide detectives arrested 25-year-old Luis Rodriguez in connection with the murder.
According to an arrest affidavit obtained by Action News, ballistic evidence from a playground shootout earlier in the day on April 18 matched a weapon Rodriguez allegedly used in Carter's murder. No one was injured in the initial shootout.
After the murder, a witness told police Rodriguez came running from the crime scene saying, "I shot her, I shot her in the neck," court documents allege. The witness also said that Rodriguez bragged and confessed on multiple occasions that he killed the girl.
Authorities say Rodriguez was caught on video entering and leaving the home after the murder.
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Police have not revealed what led up to the girl's shooting death.
"There's nothing you can do as a parent to prepare you for something like this," Carter's grandfather, William Orr told Action News in May. "We all live down South Philly and southwest, so I have no idea how she managed to find her way down to this neighborhood."
Orr says his grandaughter initially ran away with some of her friends. When she was killed on the 18th, police didn't learn her identity and notify the family until two weeks later, family members say.
Rodriguez is facing a slew of charges including murder. He is being held without bail.