Girl, 6, Is Killed in Shooting While Out for an Ice Cream
With El Monte broiling in the low 90s Sunday, 6-year-old Bryesha Limbrick begged anyone who would listen in her family’s small apartment to take her for some ice cream.
Around 8 p.m., her grandmother relented, handed her some change and sent her with a 20-year-old uncle to the nearby 7-Eleven.
A few minutes later, Bryesha, with ice cream in hand, was walking out of the Valley Boulevard store with her uncle, Gustavo Ramirez, when they noticed two men in the parking lot, one holding a rifle. They started running but didn’t get far.
Her uncle said he heard gunshots, then saw his niece fall to the sidewalk, bleeding from the head.
“The bullet hit her, and she just closed her eyes and fell to the ground,” Ramirez said. “It was like slow motion; it was just unbelievable.”
He dropped to the ground and cradled the young girl’s body. When paramedics separated the two, Ramirez said, he was covered in his niece’s blood.
The gunshots also hit an 8-year-old girl and her father, who were driving past the convenience store. Their injuries are not considered life-threatening, authorities said.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s detectives are seeking suspects in the case but said they don’t know why the gunman opened fire.
The two men, in their 20s, had been seen at the 7-Eleven about 15 minutes before the shooting, but it is not clear whether they were planning a robbery, deputies said.
Bryesha’s extended family spent Monday morning creating a memorial for her at the scene.
A red poster with her baby pictures was hung on a telephone pole. On the curb, the family placed a recent photo of Bryesha in a silver frame and surrounded it with candles. They used a clear plastic pitcher to collect donations, hoping that strangers’ change and proceeds from a car wash would help them meet the cost of her burial.
They described Bryesha, the baby of the family, as a friendly girl about to enter first grade at Encinita Elementary School in Rosemead.
Ana Palido, 31, the girl’s mother, was distraught as she sat on the couch in the living room of her apartment.
“She came out eating ice cream and got shot,” Palido said. “My baby, my baby, I lost my baby.”
Pictures of Bryesha and Palido’s four other children adorn the apartment’s walls, along with the school art projects and a large Puerto Rican flag.
“This little girl had a lot of love because she was so easy to love,” said another uncle, Raymond Ayala, 39.
Family members and friends said the girl enjoyed running around barefoot and would dance to any music on the radio or the television.
“She was so full of life, she’d light up a room with her energy,” Ayala said.
Bryesha was a cheerleader for a local youth group and marched in the Montebello Father’s Day Parade.
“She just looked so cute with her red, white and blue outfit and her pompoms and everything. She just loved it,” said Diana Gonzales, a friend of the family.
Bryesha’s father, Brian Limbrick, 32, ran to the scene when a neighbor told him that his daughter had been shot. When he got there, he saw her lying on the ground, surrounded by paramedics.
“I’m in shock. She’s too young, she’s just too young,” he said, wiping his eyes. “She was just playing yesterday.”
Sheriff’s deputies spent Monday searching for clues in the case and trying to determine the identities of the gunman and his accomplice.
“At this point, we have no motive for the shooting,” said Deputy Tania Plunkett.
Gustavo Ramirez called the assailants cowards.
“They were just trying to show off for their homies or something and hit this little girl for no reason,” he said. “It’s messed up.”