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Two arrested in death of 11-year-old girl who was shot after buying milk at corner store


(SYRACUSE, N.Y.) — Two men have been arrested in the slaying of 11-year-old Brexialee Torres-Ortiz, who was shot dead while walking home after buying milk near her home, authorities announced Thursday.

Two of the three suspects believed to be involved in the Jan. 16 shooting, an 18-year-old man and a 20-year-old man, were arrested Wednesday on charges including second-degree murder, Syracuse Police Chief Joe Cecile announced at a news conference Thursday. They were arraigned Thursday morning, Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick said.

The third suspect, a 16-year-old, is known to police and is a resident at a juvenile facility in the New York City area, where he was placed by a family court judge, Fitzpatrick said.

He was “on a furlough from the facility” on the day Brexialee was killed, Fitzpatrick said.

“We will be addressing more information about him at such time he’s in custody,” he said.

Brexialee had just left a corner store that was about 100 yards from her apartment when she was shot by gunmen in a car who were firing at someone else, authorities said. A 19-year-old man was also shot at the scene and survived, the chief said.

Police zeroed in on the suspects after identifying the stolen car that the shots were fired from, the chief said.

Brexialee, president of her fifth grade class and part of her school’s high honors program, “was an extraordinary young lady,” the chief said Thursday.

“The stories we started to hear about her taking care of her classmates … [she was] their advocate so they could succeed the way she was succeeding,” Cecile said.

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