The man had just gotten into a fight over clothes with a teen at the house on Forest Terrace in Landover, so he left and returned with a handgun, Prince George’s County Police said.
Facing the house, the authorities said, he fired about half a dozen shots from the yard into the white siding on the second floor. He was aiming for the teenager with whom he had the altercation 10 minutes earlier, police said.
He hit a 3-year-old girl instead, according to county authorities.
That’s how Knijah Amore Bibb was killed Sunday afternoon, police and family members said, struck by a bullet meant for someone else. Now Knijah’s family is making funeral arrangements for the little girl, who would have celebrated her fourth birthday next month.
What is it “about some clothes that you can just take some innocent child’s life?” Knijah’s grandmother Brenda Bibb, 54, asked Monday. “I’m destroyed. . . . It hurts so bad.”
County police said they are looking for 25-year-old Davon Antwan Wallace, a Landover man who has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with Knijah’s shooting. Authorities issued a warrant for his arrest shortly after the girl died at the hospital and are offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to an arrest in the case.
“We’ve got a squad of investigators working nonstop overnight,” said Lt. William Alexander, a Prince George’s police spokesman. “They haven’t gone home. They haven’t slept. We’re hoping someone will lead us to tips that will get this person behind bars.”
Knijah’s family was visiting a friend at the home in Landover when Wallace got into an argument with his girlfriend’s brother outside the house about 1:40 p.m. Sunday, police and family said. Wallace left, grabbed a gun from his car and fired into the house, police said.
Bullet holes are visible on the outside of the house. One bullet appears to have gone through the window of a bedroom. Four others stagger downward, trailing above the front door.
Knijah’s two older brothers were also in the house at the time of the shooting, Bibb said.
Knijah, who lived in the District with her mother, loved to read, according to Bibb. She liked to dress up with purses and high heels, but was also a tomboy, Bibb said, a byproduct of having to stand up against her 10-year-old and 7-year-old brothers.
“She liked to wear silver boots in the summer,” Bibb said. “She had a Hello Kitty sticker on one boot and a Dora [the Explorer] on the other.”
On Monday, family and friends crowded the porch of the family’s apartment on Harvard Street in Northwest Washington. Inside the apartment, Knijah’s older cousins sat in the living room where Hello Kitty and Mickey Mouse costumes rested on a chair and sofa. The family had planned to dress up for Knijah’s birthday Sept. 13, just as they had recently done for her older brother.
“I would have dressed up for her in this,” Knijah’s 11-year-old cousin Tradon said, slipping on the white Hello Kitty head.
“Is this what we were gonna do, but she died?” another cousin, 10-year-old Devin asked.
“We didn’t make it to her birthday,” Bibb explained.
Her cousins said they want people to know that Knijah liked pink, loved to play checkers, chess and Trouble, and would play dodgeball late into the night.
“If they know the person who did it, tell the cops,” said Devin, who described himself as “too broken down” to say more about his little cousin.
Bibb said her family plans to have a candlelight vigil for Knijah later this week. And they still plan to celebrate Knijah’s birthday.
“All I got is what she told me the last time I saw her,” Bibb said. “ ‘Grandma, I love you.’ That’s all I have now.”
Peter Hermann and Jennifer Jenkins contributed to this report.