ANAHEIM (CBSLA.com ) — The Anaheim Police Association offered a $50,000 reward Thursday for information regarding the death of a 9-year-old girl who was shot in her front yard.
Ximena Meza was shot around 7:15 p.m. Wednesday while playing with friends in front of her home in the 2300 block of West Greenacre Avenue in Anaheim, the Orange County coroner’s office said.
KCAL9’s Stacey Butler attended a community meeting held by officers where they discussed the latest investigation updates.
Neighbors reported that they heard three or four gunshots before they ran out to assist the girl lying on the sidewalk.
“I saw her dad just yelling, ‘Save my daughter, save my daughter! My daughter’s been hit. Call an ambulance!’ ” neighbor George Aguirre said.
“She had got pierced in her right side and her abdomen had been swollen to capacity,” witness Marque Oliver said. “I didn’t have a very good pulse, but she had a pulse. She was breathing.”
She was taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange and pronounced dead at 7:56 p.m. Wednesday.
“I just love her, love her so much, and I know she is with God right now because she is an angel,” said Ximena’s father, William Meza.
Authorities don’t believe Meza was the intended target and said the area was claimed by a gang.
Witnesses reported two groups in the area at the time of the shooting, one of which traveled in a light-colored vehicle.
Three young men were arrested Thursday afternoon; however, it is unknown if their arrest was connected to the case.
Family and friends have set up a memorial on the front lawn for Meza, with rose pedals, candles, flowers, stuffed animals and cards in her honor.
So far, more than $3,000 has been raised online in an effort to assist in funeral arrangements. Click here to access the page.
Officers offered counseling at the meeting for children and adults who are grieving.