A 12-year-old Victorville girl shot and killed Wednesday by a man with a shotgun was the victim of a brewing dispute between the suspects and her mother, authorities say.
The suspected gunman, Anthony Pitts, and two other women, Reyna Mercado and Danielle Cummings, were arrested Thursday on suspicion of murder in connection with Makiya Walls' death, San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said at a news conference Friday.
“The evidence suggests that Makiya was not the intended target of this violence,” he said.
Instead, investigators learned that there was a feud between Makiya’s mother, Pitts, Mercado and Cummings, the sheriff said. Pitts, 26, Mercado, 28, and Cummings, 29, are Adelanto residents.
“This argument had been going on for the past several months,” sheriff’s homicide Sgt. John Gaffney said. “Earlier in the day, there was a confrontation between members of both families.”
Makiya was inside her two-story home just before 8:30 p.m. Wednesday when Pitts, a gang member, walked up and fired several rounds, the Sheriff’s Department said.
When deputies arrived, they found Makiya suffering from gunshot wounds.
She was taken to a hospital, where she later died, deputies said.
During the investigation into Makiya’s death, authorities discovered that her mother, 35-year-old Maesha Lundy, and her mother’s boyfriend, 34-year-old Christopher Hicks, had made threatening phone calls to Cummings, the Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.
The phone calls started about 9 p.m. Wednesday and ended about 4 a.m. Thursday.
Cummings recorded the conversations. She then called authorities when Hicks tried to contact her at her home, authorities said.
The Sheriff’s Department said the threats were credible, so they issued warrants to arrest Lundy and Hicks.
Deputies found Lundy and Hicks early Friday in a Victorville hotel, authorities said. They were arrested on suspicion of making threats.
Investigators declined to release details about the dispute and threats.
3:30 p.m.: This article was updated with details about Makiya’s mother’s arrest.
12:05 p.m.: This article was updated with the identities of the female suspects.
This article was originally published at 11:10 a.m.