A 19-year-old faces charges after police say he shot Atkins after a car accident on Beltway 8 early Saturday morning. Acevedo declined to name the suspect because he said officers are looking for people who they believe witnessed the crime.
"They still have a moral obligation, when a beautiful little girl is killed in front of her mother, to come forward," Acevedo said.
Atkins was riding in a car driven by her mother, who was returning from a hair appointment around 2 a.m. That car collided with one of two other vehicles that was speeding through the intersection of Fuqua and Sam Houston Parkway. After the crash, the suspect fired several times into the car containing Atkins, striking the child several times. She was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Acevedo declined to offer a motive for the shooting or add additional details.
Mayor Sylvester Turner thanked members of the community for providing tips that helped police arrest the suspect.
He urged the public to remain vigilant, as police are still looking for suspects in two other high-profile shootings: the slaying of a high school student working at Subway and the wounding of two Houston police officers by a burglar.