26 year old Shayla Dearinge is facing murder charges Monday in the shooting death of her two year old cousin. It happened in the 4600 block of Golden Gate Drive in Killeen Saturday afternoon. Officials say Dearinge and the mother of the child were arguing when Dearinge fired a gun in the direction of the mother and toddler, striking the toddler. The child later died at McLane Children’s hospital Saturday evening.
Jessie Zayas lives across the street from where the shooting took place and says when he heard the gun shot and saw the panic across the street he knew he had to call the police.
"All of a sudden I heard screaming and the family running out and laying in the grass. I saw a lady holding a baby so I called police, I immediately saw that it was a child that had been shot. I am devastated I couldn't sleep last night" says Zayas.
Another neighbor who was home during the incident says it's upsetting that an innocent child lost his life.
"It's senseless violence and it should not have happened, arguments happen but guns don't need to be involved in arguments" says Killeen resident Kevin Brown.
Killeen police officers agree.
"This child isn't going to be able to grow up and do great things because somebody decided to pull out a gun, guns don't solve everything" says Carroll Smith, Killeen Police Department.
Golden Gate residents say they hope having the suspect behind bars will help the family begin to heal.
"I'm glad they made an arrest and that justice will be served in this case, the child deserves that much" says Kevin Brown.
Police say the suspect is in the Bell County Jail with a one million dollar bond. The name of the child has not yet been released.