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3-year-old girl fatally shot at Tamarac motel, her family wants justice

Family of three-year-old girl killed in Tamarac wants justice
Family of three-year-old girl killed in Tamarac wants justice 02:15

TAMARAC — A 3-year-old girl was fatally shot at a Broward County Extended Stay America Saturday morning and police have detained two people connected to the shooting in Lauderhill later in the day.

Around 8:19 a.m., the Broward County Sheriff's Office received a call regarding a shooting near the 3000 block of West Commercial Boulevard in Tamarac, prompting deputies and Tamarac Fire Rescue to respond.

Upon arrival, deputies found the child suffering from a gunshot wound. According to BSO Public Information Officer Claudinne Caro, the child was accompanied by a woman; however, the relationship between the woman and the child victim is unknown at this time. Paramedics pronounced the child dead on the scene.

Deputies then quickly established a perimeter to investigate as BSO's Homicide Unit was dispatched to the area to gather more information regarding the incident.

CBS News Miami's Morgan Rynor spoke with the victim's mother, who cried in disbelief that her child — Deyonnie — had been killed. Her family wanted everyone to remember that Deyonnie was the life of the family, energetic and playful, and always wanted yogurt in the morning.

Deyonnie wore little pink and sparkly Crocs every day, where videos shared with Rynor showed that she would run around the motel in her bright shoes. Additionally, her family said that she was outgoing and would always run up to everyone to say "Hello." Every time they would go to the store, Deyonnie would ask for three things: chips, juice and ice cream.

According to her family, Deyonnie was the youngest of three children and December 31 was going to be her fourth birthday, where the family had plans to go to Disney World.

The family is still trying to figure out what happened to Deyonnie Saturday morning. Her mother told Rynor that she was sleeping and woke up to find her daughter in a puddle of blood before calling 911.  

3-year-old girl fatally shot at Tamarac motel; 2 people connected to shooting detained in Lauderhill 01:55

According to Caro, BSO investigators detained two occupants of a U-Haul pickup truck with its marking removed located in Lauderhill in connection to the shooting. The individuals detained were subsequently released and as of Sunday afternoon, no arrests have been made.

People at Extended Stay America are debating whether Deyonnie was shot while running around the complex or if she had accidentally shot herself.

Gwen Denton, who has been staying at the motel since June, spoke with Rynor to share what she had witnessed.

"I opened the door and looked outside and so be it — I saw BSO officers pull [up to] the place," she said.

Denton said she was saddened by the news that a little girl died, but she's not entirely shocked that it happened here.

"I'm staying at this altar for a while. And, I noticed this: a lot of drugs, smoking at my door and people knocking on my door certain times of night," she said. "And, a lot of activities going on outside."

Anyone with any information regarding the shooting is advised to call Broward County Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-TIPS. The incident is still under investigation.

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