NORTH LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A devastated mother shared her heartbreak with Local 10 News on Tuesday after her 13-year-old daughter was shot and killed in North Lauderdale Monday night.
Lolita Catis said her daughter, Sumiya James, wasn’t far from home Monday night when the gunfire erupted in the 7400 block of Southwest 12th Court.
“She came in the kitchen and said, ‘Ma, can I go to my friend’s house?’ I said ‘yes,’ but if I would’ve known that, I would’ve just told my daughter ‘no,’” Catis said.
Tracey Clark Graham, who lives nearby, said the shots apparently came from a car.
“My son and I heard a pop and tires screeching,” she said.
According to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to the scene and found James suffering from a gunshot wound.
Authorities said deputies immediately started life-saving measures until North Lauderdale Fire Rescue responded.
James was then airlifted to a local hospital, where she died at 11:31 p.m.
Family members of James told Local 10 News that she was supposed to start 7th grade on Tuesday at Cypress Run Middle School.
James’ loved ones have since placed balloons and teddy bears near the location of where the shooting happened.
“That was very horrible what they did to her, and she was only 13. My daughter didn’t even get to see her life or enjoy her life yet,” said Catis.
Catis shared the following message with the community following the death of her daughter:
“All I’m asking the community to do is please turn that person in. I want to see you for my daughter, Sumiya James.”
BSO Homicide Unit detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding the shooting.
Anyone with further information is asked to contact Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477).
Local 10 News Photojournalist Michael Kaneff and Assignment Desk Editor Wilson Louis contributed to this report.