Police: Child dies in road-rage attack on New Mexico freeway

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Police appealed for the public's help Wednesday as they search for a man they say killed a 4-year-old girl on an Albuquerque freeway in a road rage shooting.

Detectives believe the man in his mid-20s or early 30s was driving a recent model maroon or dark red Toyota Corolla or Camry with a spoiler on the trunk and dark tinted windows, Officer Tanner Tixier said. The car also had a University of New Mexico license plate.

Police Chief Gorden Eden has described the shooting about an hour before the start of Tuesday evening rush hour in New Mexico's largest city as an unexplainable crime brought on by road rage. Interstate 40, the highway where the shooting happened, would have been heavy with traffic at the time, he said.

"We need the community's help. You had to have seen something. Please call us," Eden said.

The assailant and the girl's father, who was driving a pickup truck, were heading west near the city's west side when one car pulled up to the other and the assailant opened fire, police said. It's not clear what led the incident to escalate.

Shortly after the shooting, a Bernalillo County sheriff's deputy arrived, pulling up to a vehicle he believed was in distress and finding the child inside, police said. The child's parents were not injured. The father told officers the shooting was the result of road rage.

The girl was rushed to the hospital, where she died. The names of the child and the shooter have not been released.

Eden said the girl's death was a "terrible, tragic loss" and a "disrespect for human life."

"This is one of those crimes that is unexplainable," he said. "It's 100 percent preventable. It did not have to happen. We need to rise up as a community and say enough is enough."

Detectives were interviewing multiple witnesses, Eden said.

"Our priority is always the collection and preservation of evidence," he said. "We should never see these incidents happen."

The shooting comes after a road rage shooting last month in which police say a man fired at another driver in self-defense. Prosecutors were reviewing the Sept. 9 shooting that wounded 34-year-old Jacoby Johnson.
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