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Moreno Valley homicide investigation underway; 6-year-old girl fatally shot, father wounded

Tiana Ricks, 6, of Victorville was fatally shot at a home in the 25000 block of Harker Lane in Moreno Valley on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013.

September 8, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A homicide investigation is underway after a 6-year-old girl was fatally shot and her 26-year-old father wounded at a Moreno Valley home Saturday.

Suspected gang members opened fire outside a home on the 25000 block of Harker Lane around 9:38 p.m.

Tiana Ricks was killed by gunfire, and her father, Tyrell, was injured. The two had just arrived for a family get-together.

"While one acted like he was going to talk to them, the other one behind him pulled out a weapon and started to shoot directly into the garage," said Leshawn Cook, Tyrell's cousin.

Bullets hit a car in the driveway. Cook's three daughters were also in the garage; one of them was holding Tyrell's baby boy. They were not injured.

The party was supposed to be a send-off for Cook's daughter, who is about to begin her freshman year at the University of Indiana.

"Who does something like that?" said Cook. "Fifteen children, there were just as many babies here as there were adults."

Tiana lived in Long Beach with her mother. Her father moved from Indianapolis to Victorville just one week ago.

"We're at a loss for words at this time, so we're just trying to connect ourselves and get all our family together and try to move on and do what we can," said Damon Cook, the victim's cousin.

Neighbors are saddened by the senseless violence. They lit candles to show support for the family and to honor the little girl with a big smile.

"She was a beautiful little girl," said Damon Cook. "If you look at the pictures, you can tell she was a happy, beautiful little girl."

Tiana's father, Tyrell, was transported to an area hospital. He was last listed in stable condition.

Family members say in addition to his daughter's murder, Tyrell has also been grieving the death of the mother of his 1-year-old son. She was killed in a car accident in Indiana back in April.

Detectives say they're looking into whether the shooting suspects were gang members. Anyone with information about this case was urged to contact the sheriff's homicide unit at (951) 955-2777 or the sheriff's Moreno Valley station at (951) 486-6700.

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