8-year-old fatally shot in Houston after auto crash

An 8-year old girl was fatally shot after a she was involved in a vehicle accident early Saturday morning.

Police said the Pontiac and a third auto - a dark four-door sedan - were speeding when the Pontiac was hit by the vehicle the girl was in. After a long day, she was eager to make it home around 2 a.m. with her 8-year-old daughter, DeMaree Atkins, who was sound asleep in the backseat.

DeMaree Atkins was transported to a local hospital by paramedics, where she was later pronounced dead.

After the impact, a female driver in one of the cars suddenly whipped out a gun, and started blasting away, local police said. "I pulled her out of the vehicle; I didn't even know she had been hit". The child was traveling with her mother, Toyia Thomas, and police believe they were just bystanders.

"I looked over and thought she was trying to help", Thomas told ABC 13. Each one of those bullets hit the back of my auto where my baby was.

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"I told her to stay with me, stay with me", Thomas said, breaking down into tears.

Thomas said she laid her daughter on the ground and that's when she noticed Atkin's jacket was stained with blood. Her mother, whom police did not identify, was uninjured. She was an honor roll student who was just beginning to learn how to play the violin. "We don't know if they were firing at each other and struck the vehicle, or if once the accident happened, they got angry, jumped out and they shot the vehicle", said HPD homicide detective David Stark.

"I love you and I wish I could hug and kiss you. comb your hair", she said crying.

The drivers of the white auto and the other vehicle fled the scene.

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