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A 5-year-old Omaha, Nebraska girl is dead after a stray bullet, coming from as far as a block away, killed her as she ate breakfast on Wednesday.

Now, police are pleading with the suspects who shot the firearm to come forward in the death of Payton Benson. Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said at a press conference Wednesday night that the bullet came from a morning shooting at least a block away. It involved several individuals and included the use of multiple weapons, but authorities do not believe Payton was the intended target.

“I want to take a moment to talk to the assailants in this case who were involved in the gunfire that struck and killed Payton Benson,” Schmaderer said at the press conference. “You know who you are and law enforcement will find out who you are. It may not have been your bullet that struck this little girl. So do the right thing and do yourself a favor in the process. Come down and talk to law enforcement and tell us what you know.”

Police have yet to arrest any suspects in the crime.

In the wake of the little girl’s death, the community has united to support the grieving family and to catch the suspects responsible. The mayor of Omaha, Jean Stothert, sent her condolences to Payton’s parents.

“In our city, every life matters,” she said. “And every violent death is unacceptable. When a child becomes a victim of such an unthinkable act, we must all stand together to support the family, and then we must be part of the solution.”

Police have released the photo of the vehicle used in the crime — a dark-colored Jeep or sport utility vehicle — and a photo of three of the male suspects near the car. They are encouraging the public to help them identify the individuals.

A $5,000 reward is being offered for any information leading to an arrest.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Payton’s family at this time. May she rest in peace.


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