HOUSTON --A little girl died and her mother and young sister were critically injured after being shot during an attempted robbery in north Harris County, according to deputies.
This all started around 8:40 p.m. as a 27-year-old woman was carrying groceries to her apartment with her 10-year-old and 4-year-old daughters.
ORIGINAL REPORT: Mother, two young daughters shot during attempted robbery
Investigators said at least two men in a dark-colored sedan pulled up next to them and got out. The men reportedly asked for the woman's purse, but she refused. That's when deputies believe one of the men shot the mother and her two children at close range.
Deputies said at least nine shots were fired. The 4-year-old girl was struck in the head. The mother was shot in the stomach, but as she was trying to protect her kids, she apparently didn't even realize she'd been hit until a deputy noticed her shirt was bloody.
All three were rushed from the Mission Falls apartment complex on Greens Crossing Boulevard to nearby Houston Northwest Hospital.
The youngest daughter was then taken by Life Flight to Memorial Hermann Hospital because of the seriousness of her condition. She died from her injuries. Sources told ABC7 sister station KTRK-TV that the girl's name was Ava Castillo.
MORE: Four-year-old killed in violent robbery
Her mother is Diana Gomez, according to sources, and the 10-year-old sister is Betzida Castillo. They were listed in critical condition early this morning, fighting for their lives.
Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Thomas Gilliland called this heinous act "an absolute tragedy."
"A 4-year-old and a 10-year-old shot is pretty horrendous," Gilliland said. "When you have children involved, it's not a great scene to be at."
Gilliland said when criminals are desperate, we do not know what they are capable of and that things can turn violent pretty quickly, even against children.
The mother told deputies there were two men, but a witness said there were three. Those suspects are still at large, and their descriptions are extremely vague -- men in dark colored clothing in a dark car. Deputies are reviewing surveillance video in an effort to get a better description.