3-Year-Old Girl Fatally Struck by Gunfire While Riding in Car With Family

STOCKTON -- Police are investigating a fatal shooting after a toddler was struck by gunfire while riding with family in south Stockton.

Officials say the shooting happened Sunday night just before 8:30 p.m. near Commerce and Anderson Streets. The 3-year-old girl, who family on social media have identified as Melanie, was riding in a car with her mom, grandmother and a sibling when "they encountered gunfire," police office Joe Silva said.

The family rushed the girl to a nearby hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.

According to Silva, the victim's vehicle was not the intended target of the gunfire, and seemed to be "in the wrong place at the wrong time."

"What happened last night was a senseless act of violence committed by cowards with guns," Silva said. "Anytime there's a tragedy, especially a tragedy where you have a 3-year-old ... our investigators are going to be relentless in trying to find out exactly who did this and hold them accountable for their actions last night."

Homicide detectives are investigating the shooting, and are asking anyone with information to call Stockton police at (209)937-8377, or anonymously at (209)946-0600.