SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — An 11-year-old girl was killed in a drive-by shooting according to Syracuse Police Chief Cecile on Monday evening, January 16.

Brexialee Torres-Ortiz was walking home with a gallon of milk for her family from a nearby corner store when she was shot in the midsection Chief Cecile says.

Torres-Ortiz was taken to Upstate Hospital where she was later pronounced dead, Syracuse Police say.

A 19-year-old, Isael Cruz, who Chief Cecile speculated was the target of the shooting, is currently in stable condition at Upstate Hospital after being shot in the leg. Police say the 19-year-old was taken to the hospital by a private vehicle.

911 dispatchers say the shooting was reported on Monday around 7:43 p.m.

The shooting took place on Oakwood Ave. in the area of East Raynor Ave. and Martin Luther King, East.

This is the city’s third homicide of 2023.

Mayor Ben Walsh and Chief Cecile were on the scene along with a NewsChannel 9 crew.

There is no suspect at this time but Chief Cecile says that police have good surveillance video from the area.

The chief is pleading with community members to step forward with any tips that can help solve this crime and hold those accountable responsible.

“If people don’t rise up and say this is enough and we’re gonna come forward with tips…They can even be anonymous. We have 401 tips. We have anonymous phone lines that go straight to the Criminal Investigation Division. They can give us tips anonymously. We don’t care how they come in, but we need tips to solve these things and that’s how we do it. Beyond that, folks need to also start letting us know where the gun shooters are, who’s carrying the guns, and where they are so that we can get them before so we can prevent things like this.”


Anyone with information is asked to call Syracuse Police at 315-442-5222.

NewsChannel 9 has confirmed with the Syracuse City School District the 11-year-old girl was a student of the district.

Superintendent Anthony Davis released the following statement about the shooting:

We send our deepest sympathy to this child’s family. This is yet another instance where a senseless act of violence in our community has taken the life of a child. In these instances, so many lives are ruined: the victims that are wounded or killed, the perpetrator that ends up in jail or retaliated against, the families that suffer great loss, the community that has to endure the madness of it all. There is no excuse for the violence we are experiencing as a community, and we cannot become numb to it.

As a community, we must work together to ensure that all Syracuse residents receive the supports they need to turn away from violence. We must come together to address the root causes of what we are witnessing. All of us must serve as examples to the children and young adults in our community. We must guide them away from violence and steer them toward the many resources and supports available to help them better their own lives and the lives of those around them. Together, we can create change. I vow that the Syracuse City School District will remain an active and engaged participant in this process, taking a seat at the table and contributing the resources, energy and personnel to help come up with solutions.