BIRMINIGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Two teenagers face murder charges in a drive-by shooting this week that left a sleeping 12-year-old girl in Alabama dead, police said.
Murder warrants were issued for Ja’Von Eric Wilson, 19, and Jarei Lamar Vance, 18, both of Birmingham, Sgt. Monica Law said Friday. The suspects were charged in the death of Audriana “Minnie” Pearson, who was killed as she slept in her home early Wednesday, al.com reported.
Mayor Randall Woodfin said Minnie had been looking forward to celebrating Christmas.
“But while she slept in her bed last night, her life was robbed from her. She was the victim of a drive-by, another one of our children stolen from us due to the intentional and reckless behavior of others,” Woodfin wrote Wednesday on Twitter.
The mayor told al.com that 17 bullets were fired into the home.
Police were able to identify a vehicle suspected to be involved in the drive-by through leads and the department’s crime center, which uses real-time technology and data-driven intelligence to increase prevention, apprehension and resolution of crime.
A pursuit spanned several miles before the vehicle was stopped, Law said, and three people were taken into custody. Warrants for capital murder were obtained for both Wilson and Vance. Wilson was also charged with first-degree receiving stolen property.
Both men are being held without bond in the Jefferson County Jail. It’s unknown if either has an attorney who could speak on their behalf.
The third person of interest taken into custody was released.
Woodfin said he spoke to the girl’s mother after the shooting. Pearson would have turned 13 next month, the mayor said. She had been hoping for a pink iPad or AirPods for Christmas.
“There is very little to be merry about in households where laughter has been silenced by gunfire, and that breaks my heart,” the mayor wrote.