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A teenage girl in Texas was fatally shot earlier this week in an altercation that stemmed from fighting on social media, according to authorities.
Officers with the Houston Police Department responded to reports of a shooting at around 2:30 p.m. on Monday on Sharpview Drive, according to a news release issued earlier this week. A 16-year-old girl was found dead on the scene; two adults — 20-year-old Dekambrie Pratt and 32-year-old Anthony Thornabar — also sustained gunshot wounds but they were taken to a nearby hospital, where it was determined that their injuries were not life-threatening.
Police did not reveal the victim's name, but local outlet KTRK has since confirmed that the deceased teen was Mareja Pratt, a sophomore at Elsik High School.
The shooting stemmed from a fight involving the three victims who were shot on Monday, police told KTRK. The trio are believed to have traveled to the area to confront the people with whom they were engaged in what the victim's family referred to as ongoing "family beef," according to another KTRK report.
Prior to the shooting, an unidentified Black male suspect was observed getting out of a red Chrysler 200 and firing multiple shots at the three victims, police said earlier this week. He then fled the scene with three females who were also in the car, but it is unknown which direction they fled.
The victim's cousin, Kira Walton, told KTRK that Pratt had been dealing with cyberbullying before the shooting. She did not name the person or persons responsible, but in her statements to the media, referenced a female who was spreading rumors about Pratt.
"She kept picking on her on Instagram, sending people pictures saying she was a prostitute. Messing with her ... messing with her to the point my cousin used to cry about it," Walton told the outlet.
The family said that the unnamed family member with whom Pratt had been feuding initiated a meeting outside of a local church to address their issues, according to WTRK. Then the shooting unexpectedly began, and when it was all over, Pratt was dead.
"She was only 16. She was just a baby. She was just a baby," Dekambrie Pratt, the victim's sister, told the station.
No arrests have been made at present time, and the Houston Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Oxygen.com.
Pratt's family are now asking for the shooter to surrender to police. Anyone with information on the case is encouraged to call the department's Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or contact Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.
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