MORENO VALLEY (CBSLA.com) — Authorities have arrested an admitted gang member in the shooting death of a 6-year-old girl gunned down outside of a family party in Moreno Valley.
Keandre Narkie Johnson, 21, was arrested Monday in connection with the murder of 6-year-old Tiana Ricks, who was shot Sept. 7 in the driveway of the home where she was attending a party with her father.
In a statement, authorities described the 21-year-old Johnson as “a self-admitted gang member and parolee at large.”
Tiana’s grandfather, Tyrell Ricks Sr., told KCAL9’s Crystal Cruz he has nothing to say to the suspect.
“I have no thoughts for him,” he said. “My baby was only six.”
Ricks Sr. said his granddaughter had a bright future.
“I could just see it in her eyes, she was ambitious,” said her grandfather, Tyrell Ricks Sr. “She was going to be somebody.”
Tyrell Ricks Jr., 26, and his daughter had just arrived at a family member’s going-away party when two men reportedly pulled up in a black car and opened fire at party goers in the home’s driveway.
Tiana was struck in her shoulder. The bullet then went through her and hit her father in the leg.
Relatives said Tiana asked if her father was okay before gasping for breath and losing consciousness. She succumbed to her injuries at the hospital.
Tyrell Ricks Sr. said neither he nor his family know the 21-year-old suspect.
“We have no clue,” said Ricks Sr. “We’ve never been there before. So no, we don’t know any of these guys.”
A memorial service for Tiana held Saturday was attended by hundreds, including many who did not know the young victim.
Her tragic death captured the hearts of the community, as well as rapper Snoop Lion, who donated to Tiana’s funeral fund through his foundation “No Guns Allowed.”
Rapper The Game also donated $10,000 to help pay for funeral expenses and attended Saturday’s service to pay his respects.
Both rappers grew up in Compton, the same city Ricks, Sr. is from.
“The Game, man, wow,” said Ricks Sr. “I love you. I love you. You best believe man, I will buy all your CDs, my brother.”