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Miracle Treasure McGowan, 15

Miracle Treasure McGowan, a 15-year-old black girl, died Thursday, Jan. 11, after being shot in the 9300 block of South Hooper Avenue in the Florence-Firestone neighborhood of South Los Angeles, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records. 

Miracle was sitting in the front passenger seat of her mother’s SUV, with her mother at the wheel, when someone began shooting at the car around 9 p.m., Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. Joe Mendoza said.

The car was parked next to the curb outside the family’s home when the shooting began, and Miracle was closest to the gunfire, Mendoza said. Friends told KCBS-TV Channel 2 that Miracle, her mother and a female friend had gotten into the car to go get something to eat.

Bullets struck Miracle in the torso and her mother in the leg, according to coroner’s records. The friend sitting in the back seat was not injured.

The girl’s mother sped away, Mendoza said, and nearby Los Angeles Police officers who heard the gunfire began pursuing the SUV. 

“The mom drove southbound on Hooper at a high rate of speed,” Mendoza said. “She went eastbound on Imperial, then southbound on Wilmington, where she spun out of control and stopped.”

The SUV stopped less than a mile from Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital.

When the officers discovered the people in the car had been shot, they called for paramedics, Mendoza said. 

Miracle was pronounced dead at 9:20 p.m. at the scene where the SUV stopped, according to coroner’s records. Her mother was taken to the hospital, where she is expected to recover.

Investigators think the shooter was on foot, but they don’t have a description or a motive for the attack. 

“We know it’s a violent area and there’s a lot of criminal activity in that area, but we don’t believe Miracle was involved in any gangs or criminal activity,” Mendoza said. “She just sounds like a good kid who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

A woman at David Starr Jordan High School in Watts confirmed that Miracle was a student at the Ánimo College Prep Academy, a charter school that operates on the campus.  School officials did not respond to an interview request.

Miracle’s grandmother, Mary McGowan, who had been identified as her mother in earlier reports, spoke to television cameras the day after the shooting. Miracle loved to sing and dance and “was always happy,” McGowan said, stroking a photo of her smiling granddaughter.

 “On Fridays, we’d have a little talent night, and she’d always perform,” McGowan said on KNBC-TV Channel 4. “She was just so beautiful.” 

Whoever shot Miracle is a coward, McGowan told KCBS, and should turn himself in.

“She just didn’t deserve for her life to be taken like this,” her grandmother said. “We’ll never see her married, never see her grandkids, never see nothing about her anymore. All we’ve got now is memories.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.  

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

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