A man has been indicted for allegedly shooting and killing a young girl after he started a fight with her father.
Sidney Garfield Garrand, 48, is charged with second-degree murder, attempt to commit second-degree murder, discharge of a firearm at a structure, unlawful discharge of firearm within city limits, and three counts of endangerment. Victim Cassidy Moreno was just eight years old.
“In late October of this year, an 8-year-old passenger died from a gunshot wound after Garrand and another driver engaged in an argument,” the Maricopa County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement on Tuesday. “Garrand was arrested by Phoenix Police and is currently being held in a Maricopa County Jail with a $500,000 cash only bond.”
“Senseless violence is unacceptable in this community,” County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said. “An innocent child was killed and no matter what is happening on the road, violence is never the answer.”
The child’s father said he approached a four-way stop after picking up his daughters from school, according to documents obtained by AZ Family.
Garrand appeared to get upset when he turned left in front of him, heading south of 16th Street, he said. Garrand allegedly turned his Jeep around and followed the man.
The father said he ignored the 48-year-old waving at him. Garrand allegedly stopped behind him at a red light, stepped out of the Jeep, and punched the father through an open window.
The father said that, fearing for his family’s lives (his wife and three daughters were in his vehicle), he took out a folding knife and “started swinging.”
Witnesses said Garrand held onto the father’s neck. With the knife, the man hurt Garrand near the neck.
The father began to flee in his car, but Garrand pulled out a gun from the passenger side of his Jeep, authorities said. A witness described Garrand firing five or six times.
Officers said he struck Moreno. Her mother called 911. The child was taken to the hospital in what the outlet described as “extremely critical condition.” She did not survive.
Both men also went to the hospital. Moreno’s father had cuts to his fingers.
Garrand was intubated and treated for cuts not only to his neck, but also to his right shoulder and upper chest area.
“For anyone, it shouldn’t have to end this way right?” Moreno’s aunt Thali Vargas told the outlet. “An inconvenience on the road shouldn’t have to end in, not just for us but that man is now in prison, or jail I’m sorry. Did you get to where you were going? Did you get what you wanted out of the situation?”
“I think for us it’s just a matter of letting people know that she wasn’t just the 8-year-old victim,” she said. “That she was somebody’s daughter, sister, niece. I think for me what’s really hard is it didn’t have to escalate to that point on either end.”
Vargas described her niece as happy and having a good childhood, she told KPNX.
Garrand is held on a $500,000 bond. Court is set for Jan. 4.
[Mugshot via Maricopa County]
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