An Arizona man has been charged with murder in connection with a road-rage shooting that left an 8-year-old girl dead in the back seat of her father’s car.
Sidney Garfield Garrand, 48, faces multiple felony counts, including second-degree murder, attempt to commit murder, endangerment and illegally firing a gun in city limits, AZFamily reported.
Cassidy Moreno was left in critical condition and later died after she was struck during the Oct. 27 confrontation between Garrand and her father near 16th Street and Greenway Parkway in Phoenix, officials said.
Her father told investigators that the incident began at a stop sign after he picked up his daughters from school, the news outlet reported, citing court documents.
Garrand apparently got upset when the dad turned left in front of him to head down on 16th Street — so he turned his Jeep around and followed the car, which was also carrying Cassidy’s mom and two sisters, the documents state.
When they arrived at the Greenway intersection, Garrand pulled up behind the car at a red light, got out of his Jeep and allegedly punched Cassidy’s dad through his open window, according to the report.
The father then got out of his vehicle and “started swinging” a folding knife at Garrand because he feared for his family’s lives, AZFamily reported, citing the documents.
Authorities and witnesses said Garrand, who was injured near the neck, managed to grab a hold of the dad’s neck during the violent altercation.
The father then jumped back in his vehicle and sped off as Garrand retrieved a handgun from his Jeep and fired off several rounds, officials said.
Cassidy’s mom then noticed that the girl had been shot and was bleeding in the middle of the back seat. She was rushed in critical condition to a hospital, where she later died, AZFamily reported.
Her dad suffered severe cuts to his fingers during the incident, which also left Garrand hospitalized with multiple injuries to his neck, shoulder and chest, according to the outlet.
Cassiy’s aunt, Thalia Vargas. remembered the tragic girl as full of life, outgoing and sweet.
“We want to make sure that people are aware that this is a person. This wasn’t just an 8-year-old little girl that was just a victim. She was someone’s niece, someone’s daughter, someone’s granddaughter, someone’s sister,” Vargas told 12News.
She said Cassidy was a caring girl who enjoyed making TikTok videos.
“It makes me happy to know that she was happy. You know, she’s she had a good childhood. That was all she was given was a childhood,” Vargas told the outlet.
“Things shouldn’t have escalated on either end. However, an innocent life should not be taken over an inconvenience or misunderstanding,” she added.
Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said “senseless violence is unacceptable,” AZFamily reported.
“An innocent child was killed and no matter what is happening on the road, violence is never the answer,” she said.
Garrand, who has been indicted by a grand jury, is being held in a Maricopa County Jail with a $500,000 cash-only bond.