MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – The 14-year-old who was killed in Mobile by three men back on May 31 was an innocent bystander and happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, according to testimony given by a detective on Wednesday morning.
Ciara Jackson, 14, had just gotten to Mobile three days before she was killed to spend time with her grandmother for the summer. The incident happened on Michael Donald Avenue in Mobile just off Springhill Avenue.
All three suspects had their preliminary hearing on Wednesday morning where a detective with the Mobile Police Department testified they shot and killed Jackson after the car she was in pulled down their street.
Jackson’s cousin was reportedly driving the car to drop a friend off at her boyfriend’s house. The detective said that’s when the three men started shooting thinking they were someone else. Jackson was the only person in the car who was hit but the bullet went through her chest and she died at the scene. The car she was in was hit by about 10 bullets.
The Mobile police detective testified the men had been outside waiting to engage in a possible shootout. According to his testimony, when they realized they shot up the wrong car, Forrest tried to call 911 and get help. Originally, Forrest and the 16-year-old suspect were arrested for the crime.
Officers later charged Petite after they arrested him for a separate crime and seized a handgun he had on him, and determined the shell casings matched the ones that were found at the scene where Jackson was killed.
Freida Jackson, Ciara’s grandmother, is sickened by her senseless killing. “Where are the parents? I have to ask that because they show up here at these courtrooms, they want justice for their child. What justice should they get? When you have taken away my 14-year-old granddaughter. Where is her justice? She will never speak again. She will never go to prom. She will never marry. Please y’all put these guns down, it’s tearing us apart,” Freida Jackson told WKRG in an interview after the preliminary hearing.
The suspect’s families were also in court but didn’t want to be interviewed. They say their children didn’t kill Ciara.”There was a shooting on the street, my client lives on the street. I think that’s the connection that they’re gonna find. It’s a very weak connection but that’s the thing the police are holding their hat on,” said Tom Walsh, who represents Lamonyae Forrest.
“I don’t think they’ll have any ballistic evidence that my client fired into the car. He cannot be charged with capital murder. This case is still a tragedy,” said Buzz Jordan, who represents Archie Petite. The judge bound all three suspect’s cases over to the grand jury and decided to continue holding all three of them in jail without bond. If convicted of capital murder, they could face the death penalty.