(Photo: Courtesy of Thomas Family)
When Taniyah Thomas heard gunfire from outside her apartment door earlier this week, she did what any 10-year-old would do. She headed to her mother's bedroom.
Thomas' logic cost the Washington, Pennsylvania, girl her life after a stray bullet struck her in the head. Thirty minutes later, Thomas died in a local emergency room.
The apartment had been the target of an attempted home invasion, Washington city police reported.
"We believe they were going to a specific apartment...and either couldn't get in or just decided to start firing rounds through the door," Lt. Detective Daniel Stanek told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
"If she had stayed in her bed, she'd have been safe."
According to AP, Thomas's mother, 36-year-old Shantye Brown, is currently facing trial on charges that she sold crack cocaine to an undercover informant, and her live-in boyfriend has prior drug-related convictions.
However, police reportedly questioned the couple and have yet to name or charge any suspects in the pre-dawn shooting. Authorities are now requesting help with finding Thomas's killer.
“They took her life away. I don’t understand it,” the fourth-grader's grandfather, Sherman Brown, said to local media.
“I just took her last Wednesday to her cheerleading and she was supposed to go tomorrow to Pittsburgh for a competition. Now she can’t go.”
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