Arbrie Leigh Anthony: 8-year-old shot girl in the head while petting horses

Arbrie Leigh Anthony, 8, was shot in the head while petting horses in Georgia (WRDW)
Arbrie Leigh Anthony, 8, was shot in the head while petting horses in Georgia (WRDW)

An eight-year-old girl was shot in the head and killed while she was petting horses in a drive-by shooting that has devastated her Georgia community.

Law enforcement is looking for two suspects in the killing after Arbrie Leigh Anthony died following the shooting outside her home in Augusta on Saturday.

The Jenkins-White Elementary School student had visited her aunt and was pronounced dead at an area hospital that evening.

Police have said that two suspects drove up in a red or orange Jeep Compass and fired up to ten shots outside Arbrie’s apartment building. They added that neighbours kept horses in the area for kids to pet. One of the horses died in the shooting.

“We are following up on every lead that comes in, but I cannot and will not accept the fact that no one knows who these suspects are,” Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree said during a press briefing on Monday. “There are individuals in this community that knew why they were there, knew what they were there for and knew who they were after, but yet they’ve failed to come forward with this information.”

“All acts of violence involving gunfire are senseless but when it comes to a child, we take that one personally,” Mr Roundtree added. Police have asked for help from the public to find the suspects. The vehicle they used may have black top or a black stripe on the bonnet.

“It was just a normal Saturday, a normal day. She loved to play outside,” Arbrie’s aunt, Jamila McDaniel, told The Augusta Chronicle. “I’m just not understanding why someone would do something like that.”

“My brother will never be the same,” she said, referring to Arbrie’s father Art Anthony. “What that person stole from him, from us, it’s so unimaginable the pain and hurt. He took something so precious from us for something so senseless.”

Police released images of a vehicle that could have been used by the suspects (Richmond County Sheriff’s Office)
Police released images of a vehicle that could have been used by the suspects (Richmond County Sheriff’s Office)

Ms McDaniel said Arbrie was charismatic and energetic, and that she liked travelling and the social media platform TikTok.

Officials at Jenkins-White Elementary School said grief counsellors would be available for both staff and students.

Jason Prouty, Mr Anthony’s boss, started a GoFundMe to help pay for funeral expenses.

Mr Prouty said Mr Anthony has “worked for me directly and our company for years”.

“This is absolutely tragic and I don’t know what to say to him and there is nothing else I can think to do for him other than try to help raise money to cover the funeral expenses,” he added. “I’m crushed for him.”

“Art has the most gentle soul of any man I’ve ever met and his only daughter Arbrie, who was 8 years old, was his everything and his reason for living,” Mr Prouty wrote.

“We are going to [get] justice for Arbrie, we are going to protest for Arbrie. Everyone will know about Arbrie Leigh Anthony,” Ms McDaniel told the Chronicle.

“She had so much life left ahead of her. She was a good child,” she told WDRW. “She was a happy child, she smiled all the time. Anytime you would come around her it was her spirit, they took that from us.”

“You couldn’t do nothing but love her, that was the type of personality she had,” fellow aunt Dominique Anthony told the local TV station. “She loved her family, her momma, her daddy her grandma her cousins, everybody that’s around about her.”

“I just want him to feel loved and I can’t imagine, I can’t fathom what he’s going through,” Mr Prouty told the outlet. “His daughter was his world, he talked about her all the time. All the wonderful things she’s done and how smart she is and how great she’d done in school and it’s just heartbreaking.”