Boy, 4, Killed in 'Unimaginable' Road Rage Shooting

California boy was shot in backseat of parents' car
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2023 3:56 PM CST
Updated Dec 22, 2023 1:00 AM CST
California Boy, 4, Killed in Road Rage Shooting
Stock. photo.   (Getty Images/Chalabala)
UPDATE Dec 22, 2023 1:00 AM CST

A man has been charged with fatally shooting a 4-year-old California boy amid a road rage incident in Lancaster last week. Byron Burkhart, 29, is charged with murder as well as two counts of attempted murder and other charges, CNN reports. His girlfriend, who was also in the vehicle when Burkhart allegedly shot eight times at the car carrying Gor Adamyan, was also arrested, but prosecutors did not have enough evidence to charge her and she was released.

Dec 18, 2023 3:56 PM CST

A 4-year-old California boy was killed in front of his parents in a horrific road rage shooting Friday evening, authorities say. Investigators say the boy's parents were cut off by another driver in Lancaster, Los Angeles County, who then started following them, KTLA reports. "While being pursued by the suspects, the victim driver slowed his vehicle, at which time the suspect driver pulled up along the passenger side of the victim's car and began shooting," the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said in a news release. The boy, who was in the backseat, was hit in the upper torso, the sheriff's department said. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

The sheriff's department said the suspects' vehicle was found in the immediate area. A 29-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of murder, NBC Los Angeles reports. Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris says he is heartbroken by the killing and has spoken to members of the family's church, KABC reports. "It's unimaginable that this could have been any of our families," he says. "It could have been any of us."

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In a Facebook post Saturday, the mayor said the suspects were tracked down with the help of the city's recently installed "flock camera safety net," which can read license plate numbers and alert authorities. He said arrest warrants were served at a Lancaster hotel less than 24 hours after the shooting. "The suspects did not resist and were taken into custody," he added. The 4-year-old was identified as Gor Adamyan in a GoFundMe appeal. "As Gor's parents were en route to purchase groceries, an encounter with a suspect driver escalated into an unthinkable tragedy," the post said. (More road rage stories.)

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