Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims announced Wednesday that a $9,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for shooting 16-year-old Brianna Ramirez of Parlier.
Brianna was shot in the right eye Thursday night near her home while riding in the passenger’s seat of her mother’s car. Mims said she was caught in the crossfire of what was likely a gang shooting in the area of Tuolumne and Fett streets and that it doesn’t appear the girl or her mother were targeted.
Brianna, who was admitted to Community Regional Medical Center in critical condition, is now able to speak but not clearly. She is working to eat on her own after she was taken off breathing and feeding tubes Tuesday, said cousin Demetrius Villasana.
The 10th grader at Sanger High School — described by family as shy but “lively” with those closest to her — plays softball for the school.
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“She woke up and she said, ‘Can I play tomorrow? We have a game against Central (High School),” Villasana recalled of when Brianna first gained consciousness. “We didn’t have the heart to tell her that night passed.”
Mims visited Brianna in the hospital Tuesday night.
“As I looked at her, I reflected again: she could be anybody’s 16-year-old child,” Mims said during Wednesday’s news conference at the sheriff’s office. “It was senseless.”
Mims said Brianna “represents every 16-year-old in Fresno County.”
The $9,000 reward for tips leading to an arrest is a combination of $4,000 collected in a reward fund approved by the Parlier City Council, along with $5,000 offered by Crime Stoppers.
A GoFundMe donation account has been set up online to help pay for Brianna’s medical bills, future rehabilitation and to help the family purchase a new car. The vehicle was struck multiple times with bullets while traveling westbound on Tuolumne approaching Fett.
Mims didn’t share more information about the shooting investigation but said 15 to 20 sheriff’s personnel are working diligently on the case. She said numerous people were shooting in the area the night Brianna was struck.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call detective Hector Palma at (559) 600-8204 or Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-STOP, where tips can be made anonymously.