Anonymous tip leads to arrest, confession in death of little girl

A man has been arrested and confessed to the brutal road rage incident in New Mexico. He is being charged with the murder of 4-year-old Lilly Garcia and weapons violations.

Roberto E. Rosales/The Albuquerque Journal/AP
FBI special agent in charge Carol Lee (l.) and Albuquerque Police Department Chief Gorden Eden address the media regarding the recent road-rage incident where 4-year-old Lilly Garcia was shot in Albuquerque, N.M., Wednesday. Police detained a man on Wednesday in connection with the killing of Garcia who was shot in the backseat of her father's truck after he picked up her and her brother from school Tuesday, signaling a possible break in a case that has horrified the public.

An anonymous tip in Albuquerque, N.M., led to the arrest, and a subsequent confession in the shooting death of a 4-year-old girl.

Tony Torrez was brought in for questioning early Wednesday in relation to a road rage incident that led to the death of Lilly Garcia. Hours later, he admitted to the shooting. Mr. Torrez is now facing murder charges.

The shooting occurred Tuesday after Lilly Garcia and her 7-year-old brother were picked up from school. They were riding in the back of their Alan Garcia’s father’s vehicle when the shooting occurred.

Alan Garcia, the father of Lilly Garcia, was trying to exit onto Interstate 40 when a car forced them out of their lane, according to a police statement released.

"The two drivers exchanged words when Torrez pulled out a gun and shot at the red truck driven by Lilly's father," the statement continued. "Lilly was hit at least once in the head."

Her father and brother were both uninjured in the shooting. After realizing shots had been fired and that his daughter was bleeding, Mr. Garcia pulled over and tried “to administer first aid,” according to Albuquerque police chief Gordon Eden.

Witnesses and other cars pulled over to help, including two nurses who attempted to save the girl.

Lilly Garcia was transported to the University of New Mexico hospital, where she later died.

"She was so proud to tell people she just turned four," Alan Garcia said about his daughter to ABC News. “She is my world.”

Police quickly conducted an exhaustive search for the red Toyota Camry or Corolla the driver was said to be driving and offered up $25,000 for information that lead to the arrest of the shooter. An anonymous phone call and information from the public later led the police to Tony Torrez.

"The Garcia family is in the thoughts and prayers of our community and our nation. The senseless murder of four year old Lilly Garcia has broken our hearts and cut to the core of our community," Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry said in a statement.

A GoFundMe campaign, entitled Lilly Memorial Fund, has been set up to help the family pay for funeral and other costs. With support from near and afar, the fund has raised over $50,000 as of early Thursday.

This report contains material from the Associated Press.

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