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10-year-old Pa. girl shot and killed during home invasion

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A 10-year-old girl from Washington, Pa. was shot in the head and killed in her home around 3:50 a.m. on March 31 during an apparent home invasion.

Taniyah Thomas was a fourth-grader and a cheerleader at Washington Park School, according to WPXI.

At an early morning press conference, police say that an unknown suspect kicked in a door to get into Thomas’ apartment building and then “traveled upstairs, where the shots were fired.”

Police surmised that the young girl woke up after hearing the break-in and sound of gunshots, and ran to her mother’s bedroom – which is where one of the gunman’s fatal bullets found her.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported the Washington City Police as saying that there was at least one intruder, who traveled upstairs in Thomas’ apartment building and fired multiple rounds through the door to her apartment, “where the girl was staying with her mother, Shantye Brown, her boyfriend Robert Lester and their infant.”

Lt. Detective Dan Stanek of the Washington police said:

"We believe they were going to a specific apartment ... and either couldn't get in or just decided to start firing rounds through the door."

“We're assuming they were targeting the residents."

No-one else in the home was injured during the shootings.

Sherman Brown, Thomas’ grandfather, said the little girl loved being a cheerleader and feels that her death was senseless.

“You don’t shoot kids. I can see you killing a grown-up or doing something that did something to you. You don’t mess with young kids. Why? They never did anything you,” Sherman Brown said.

“I just took her last Wednesday to her cheerleading and she was supposed to go tomorrow to Pittsburgh for a competition. Now she can’t go.”

Police are requesting that anyone with information regarding the shootings should call (724) 223-1386.

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