Southern California

Three Face Murder Charges in Fatal Shooting of 12-Year-Old Girl

Sheriff's officials say a feud between the victim's family and the suspects escalated into a shooting that killed 12-year-old Makiya Walls

A man and two women were charged Tuesday in connection with last week's fatal shooting of a 12-year-old girl at her family's Southern California home.

Makiya Walls was inside the Victorville house when a man with a shotgun got out of car and opened fire on the home, sending rounds through a front window. On Tuesday, Anthony Pitts, 26, of Adelanto, Danielle Cummings, 29, of Apple Valley, and Reyna Mercado, 28, of San Bernardino, were charged with murder and shooting at an inhabited dwelling. 

The shooting appeared to stem from a feud between the suspects and Makiya's family, investigators said. 

"Once again, we have an innocent child caught in the crossfire," said San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos. "A young life taken away, far too soon. We can't bring her back, but I can promise one thing. Our office, our prosecutors, our victim advocates and all of our support staff, will work tirelessly like we do in every case to be the voice for young Makiya. She deserves nothing less than justice. We will hold these individuals accountable for their despicable actions." 

It was not immediately clear whether the suspects have attorneys.

Pitts, the alleged gunman, and the victim's mother knew each other and had been in a long-standing dispute, investigators said after his arrest last week. The argument had been going on for several months before it escalated into Wednesday night's shooting in the 17000 block of Monaco Drive.

Paramedics performed CPR on Makiya before transporting her to the hospital, where she died. Makiya's mother said the girl had just returned from walking the family dog.

"She was my strength, she was my strength," said Maesha McCullers, shedding tears Thursday as she clutched her daughter's eyeglasses and stuffed toy bunny. "My baby was my strength and she's not here anymore."

The attackers fled the scene in a white sedan, witnesses told investigators.

Makiya's mother also was arrested Thursday on suspicion of making threats against the alleged shooter. It was not immediately clear when the alleged threats occurred.

Contact Us