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3 arrested following fatal shooting of 11-year-old girl killed in drive-by walking home from store

Brexialee Torres-Ortiz was walking back to her Syracuse, New York, apartment after buying milk for her family when she was killed.
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Three people were arrested in the death of an 11-year-old girl who was killed in a drive-by shooting as she walked home from a nearby corner store, Syracuse, New York, police said.

Brexialee Torres-Ortiz had left her home on Jan. 16 to buy a carton of milk for her family. She was returning home when the suspects allegedly opened fire from a car, targeting a 19-year-old boy.

"A little girl left her apartment, left her loving mother and grandmother because she wanted to be a good kid and not have them go out in the cold and grab a carton of milk," Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick said at a news conference Thursday announcing the arrests of Ra’sean Patterson, 18, and Dahviere Griswold, 20.

Brexialee Torres-Ortiz.
Brexialee Torres-Ortiz.Syracuse Police Dept.

"She should have come back to her mom and grandma with that carton of milk but tragically her life was taken away from her," Fitzpatrick said.

Patterson and Griswold were taken into custody Wednesday afternoon on charges of second-degree murder, second-degree attempted murder, and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, Syracuse Police Chief Joseph Cecile said at Thursday's news conference.

The third suspect, an unidentified 16-year-old boy, was arrested in Lincolndale, New York, with the assistance of state police, authorities in Syracuse tweeted Friday morning. He faces the same charges as Patterson and Griswold.

Fitzpatrick said the 16-year-old was a "resident of a juvenile facility" and was on furlough from the facility on the day Brexialee was killed.

The suspects were in a vehicle when they allegedly opened fire Jan. 16 around 7:42 p.m. Fitzpatrick said that the alleged target was a 19-year-old man who was shot in the leg. He is expected to survive.

Cecile called Brexialee "an extraordinary young lady."

"The stories we started to hear about her taking care of her classmates. If they didn't have something that day, a notebook, a pencil, she'd go to the teacher and be their advocate so they could succeed in school the way she was succeeding," he told reporters.

It's not clear if the suspects have obtained attorneys that can speak on their behalf.