Suspect arrested in fatal shooting of 7-year-old girl riding in backseat of car in Glendale

Feb 17, 2022, 6:30 PM | Updated: Feb 18, 2022, 6:02 am

Terriance Armstrong (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)...

Terriance Armstrong (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)

(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)

PHOENIX – A suspect has been arrested in the fatal shooting of a 7-year-old girl who was riding in the backseat of a car in Glendale early Thursday, authorities said.

Terriance Armstrong Jr., 29, faces charges of homicide, drive-by shooting, aggravated assault, prohibited possessor, endangerment, unlawful discharge of a firearm and possession of narcotics for sale, the Glendale Police Department said in a press release.

Police said approximately 3,000 fentanyl pills were also seized during the arrest.

The girl’s mother was picking up a male friend from a parking lot near 65th Avenue and Bethany Home Road around midnight when the man exchanged words with Armstrong, police said.

The victim, who police said was a few days away from turning 8, and her 5-year-old sister were in the backseat of the mother’s car, which drove off after the man got in. Armstrong allegedly followed and shot at the victim’s car, police said.

Armstrong admitted to firing multiple rounds at the vehicle after getting into an argument with the other man, police said.

The 7-year-old was the only occupant hit by the gunfire. The mother drove to the hospital, where the girl was pronounced dead.

“Our condolences and prayers go out to the family and friends of the 7-year-old girl whose life was needlessly taken overnight,” Mayor Jerry Weiers said in a statement. “Our police department worked diligently to find and apprehend the suspect of this terrible crime.

“It’s tragic when these types of events happen, especially to the most innocent.”

Officers had arrived in the area to check out an alert of a gunshot and found a shell casing in the street. A man called 10 minutes later to say the girl had been shot and the family was at the hospital, police said.

The investigation shut down Bethany Home Road between 67th and 55th avenues and 59th Avenue between Glendale Avenue and Camelback Road for most of the morning. The roads reopened around 7:30 a.m.

Armstrong was detained in Phoenix by Glendale detectives with help from the U.S. Marshals Task Force after his vehicle was identified as one of interest.

Corrections: Earlier versions of this story said the child was 8-years-old and the suspect vehicle drove away from the parking lot area first, which is what police initially reported. The story was changed after police provided updates.

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Suspect arrested in fatal shooting of 7-year-old girl riding in backseat of car in Glendale