Deputies search for killers of 7-year-old girl in Jacksonville

Child was shot while waiting for mother to get off work, deputies say

By Tim Swift - Digital Editor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Deputies are searching for two men after a 7-year-old girl was shot and killed late Saturday in Jacksonville, authorities said.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said Heydi Rivas Villanueva was sitting in a parked car with her father and a younger sibling outside the restaurant where her mother works when she was struck by a stray bullet.

Deputies said two groups of people had exchanged gunfire in the parking lot of the shopping center.

Witnesses reported seeing two men running from the gunfire get into a green Nissan Altima.

Paramedics rushed Heydi to a local hospital, where she later died of her injuries.

Deputies said Heydi Rivas Villanueva was killed by a stray bullet.

Deputies said this green Nissan Altima was seen fleeing the scene of the shooting.

Deputies released images from nearby security cameras hoping someone can identify the men pictured. Deputies also released an image of the Altima that fled the scene of the shooting.

On Twitter, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry described the shooting as "heartbreaking."

"These are our children," Curry said in a tweet. "I've spoken to the sheriff. Our cops are in pursuit of these terrible people. Prayers for the child and family. Our law enforcement will bring the full force of the law on those who committed this."

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or Firstcoast Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS. Authorities have increased the reward for information that leads to an arrest to $11,000. 


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