MIAMI – The mother of a 13-year-old south Florida girl who was fatally shot while riding a school bus with her younger sister says the child was “fun-loving, helpful, a happy girl,” according to a statement released by the family.
A 15-year-old boy was in juvenile detention Wednesday, charged with manslaughter after police say he took a gun out of a backpack and showed it to other students during the ride to school Tuesday. Police say he fired it once in an apparent accident, striking Lourdes Guzman.
The girl, known as Jina to her family and friends and identified as Lourdes Guzman-DeJesus on her Facebook page, died later at a Miami hospital.
“Feels like just yesterday I saw her running around in her Pamper, dancing and modeling for the camera,” said the girl’s mother, who identifies herself on Facebook as Ady DeJesus, in the statement. “Times and moments spent with Jina are memories I will cherish and keep in my heart forever.”
The boy was also charged with carrying a concealed weapon. He waived his right to appear in court Wednesday morning and will remain in a juvenile detention center. He is not being identified by The Associated Press because of his age.
Messages left with juvenile division officials and the alleged shooter’s mother were not immediately returned on Wednesday.
Miami-Dade police spokeswoman Aida Fina-Milan said that based on the charges “it appears to have been an accident.”
Eight other children were on the bus but were not harmed.