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Girl (4) shot and killed in road rage incident in the US

Police at the scene of the shooting in New Mexico
Police at the scene of the shooting in New Mexico

Authorities searched for a suspect in a road-rage shooting Tuesday after the victim — a 4-year-old girl — died at an area hospital, according to Albuquerque police.

It wasn't clear what may have led the incident on the city's west side to escalate, and the girl's name wasn't immediately released.

She was rushed to a hospital, where she died, Albuquerque Police Chief Gorden Eden said Tuesday evening.

A Bernalillo County Sheriff's deputy arrived on the scene shortly after the shooting, pulling up on the vehicle he believed was in distress to find the child inside, Officer Simon Drobik said.

"The cars were both moving westbound when one car pulled up against the other and started firing," Drobik said, adding that the girl's father told officers the shooting was the result of road rage.

The child's parents, also in the car, were not injured. Drobik said he didn't know if the family is local or from out of state.

Authorities have a description of the suspect's vehicle, but it has yet to be found, Drobik said.

As police investigated, authorities shut down westbound traffic on a section of Interstate 40, one of two freeways running through New Mexico's largest city.

Eden called the shooting "a terrible, tragic loss" and a "disrespect for human life."

"This is one of those crimes that is unexplainable," Eden added at a news conference. "It's 100 percent preventable. It did not have to happen. We need to rise up as a community and say enough is enough."

The shooting comes after a road-rage shooting last month in which police say a man shot another driver in self-defense. The Sept. 9 shooting that wounded 34-year-old Jacoby Johnson is being reviewed by the District Attorney's Office.