MILWAUKEE -- Persons of interest were arrested and a vehicle was recovered after a hit-and-run that left a 6-year-old girl dead and two other children injured Thursday evening, Oct. 24 near 22nd Street and Center Street.
Police said around 5:30 p.m. a driver drove around other vehicles stopped at a red light, striking the children who were walking in the crosswalk.
Several concerned citizens called 911 and remained on the scene to provide information to responding squads.
A 6-year-old girl was killed. A 4-year-old girl was gravely wounded, and a 10-year-old boy was critically injured.
The medical examiner on Friday night officially identified the 6-year-old as Alisa Gee. Family previously identified her as Lisa Gee. The medical examiner's report said she suffered blunt force injuries and died at the scene.
The medical examiner's report said a 33-year-old woman was with the children as they crossed the street.
On Friday afternoon, police said members of MPD recovered a vehicle and took persons of interest in custody. Evidence and witness statements from the scene, in addition to relentless follow-up by MPD members gave police reason to believe the vehicle and individuals were linked to this incident, police said in a statement, noting the investigation was fluid and ongoing.
Anyone with information was asked to please call the Milwaukee Police Department at 414-935-7360 or leave an anonymous tip at 414-224-TIPS.
Loved ones said Lisa Gee's 4-year-old sister, Mia, and 10-year-old cousin, Drevyze, suffered life-threatening injuries, according to family. Witnesses said bystanders rushed to them after the tragedy unfolded before their eyes.
In the wake of the crash, anger, outrage, hurt, and grief were expressed by the loved ones of the children involved, witnesses, and strangers alike. Messages of love were written as a memorial grew at the scene.
Shanterika Rayford, Drevyze's mother, said she wants justice for her son and nieces.
"Whoever it was who did it, I want them to know that you really hurt someone's heart, someone's family," said Rayford. "You really put us at the bottom whatever you did. Wherever you at, if you have a chance to see this, you are wrong."
A cashier at the nearby Family Dollar store said the driver had no regard for life.
"Spinned him around," said Treborah Williams, who called 911. "He was going eastbound. He stopped right there, and it's like, he took seven seconds before he pulled off, then shot back that way where the kids were lying in the street."
This GoFundMe.com account was set up in Lisa Gee's honor.
This GoFundMe.com account was set up for 10-year-old Drevyze Rayford.
Police initially said there were two vehicles involved in this incident. Officials were not sure if the children were struck by both of the vehicles -- but said both vehicles fled the scene.
"It was six kids in all," said Rayford. "Three of them just didn't make it across the street. This is heartbreaking right now for us because they're all small kids," said Rayford. "They're very small kids. The injuries and impact they endured, their bodies can't hold up to it, you know, so we're hoping for the best."
"I touched her," said Shawanna McGruder, witness. "I began to pray for her -- just traumatizing. I began to pray immediately. Those babies, just watching them lay there, I don't know how to feel right now."
"I heard a loud 'boom,'" said Anthony Quin, witness. "Kids were laying in the street, and it was just bad. It was bad."
"Just innocent kids crossing the street," said Assistant Chief Raymond Banks of the Milwaukee Police Department. "I've been doing this for 28 years and I'm always a little bit emotional when it comes to our kids because the kids are so vulnerable -- and the adults have to, the community, not just the parents, the community is responsible for the safety of the kids, and when these kinds of things happen, nobody wins. It's a tragedy for everybody involved."
Crash scene near 22nd and Center, Milwaukee