Denver — A family is pleading with the public to help them track down a suspect Denver police believe was involved in a shooting that left their three-year-old niece fighting for her life.
The shooting happened outside a Little Caesars off Federal Boulevard and West Cornelle Avenue on Monday at 4:30 p.m.
Consuelo, who asked to be identified only be her first name, says her three-year-old niece, Isabella. was shot in the head and is in critical condition at Denver Health Medical Center. Isabella is the youngest in her family and to many, she’s known as Bellita.
“Bellita is a little feisty girl, she’s a fighter,” Consuelo said.
Consuelo says her brother was told the day of the shooting that Bellita wouldn’t survive.
“She’s a little warrior, she’s our miracle,” Consuelo said.
On Monday, Bellita, her six-year-old sister and her father were in their van deciding what to order from Little Caesars located at 2969 S. Federal Blvd. As the three decided surveillance cameras caught the moment the back window of the van shattered.
“All of a sudden, he (Bellita’s father) said he heard fireworks,” Consuelo said.
In the video, you see Bellita’s father scramble out of the van to check on his little girls.
“She (Bellita) had a little hat on, he lifted the hat and saw that she had a wound to her head, “Consuelo said.
Bellita was shot in the head just two days before her third birthday.
Denver police say it appears a man in the parking lot started taking pictures of a red Subaru Outback parked in a handicapped spot. They say a man came out of a business and started shooting, striking Bellita and the man taking photos.
Bellita’s family says they want justice for their niece. Her uncle is begging anyone with information about the shooting to come forward and contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers.
On Friday, Denver Metro Crime Stoppers increased the reward from $2,000 dollars to $10,000 for anyone with information that leads to the arrest of the suspect; an unexpected surprise for the family.
“Oh my gosh, that’s good,” Consuelo said.
Denver police describe the suspect as a Hispanic man in his 20s wearing a black hoodie and red plaid pajamas with glasses.
The close-knit family is clinging to each other and their faith to stay strong. Consuelo and her family have been praying every day since the shooting.
December ended on a low note. Consuelo says her brother’s family contracted COVID-19, his wife lost her father and their father died a day later on Dec. 15. Less than two weeks later, Bellita was shot. Consuelo says her brother is devastated.
“We know it’s not going to be Bellita 100% like she was, but we have hope,” Consuelo said.
Consuelo says her brother is self-employed and the back to back tragedies are taking a toll on finances. The family set up a GoFundMe to help with family needs and medical expenses.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers. Tips can be made anonymously at 1-720-913-7867.