Christmas drive by shooting kills Memphis girl - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Christmas drive by shooting kills Memphis girl

Derica Patterson, photo courtesy victim's family. Derica Patterson, photo courtesy victim's family.

(WMC-TV) - Deputies in North Mississippi say they have several leads in a drive-by shooting that killed a 16-year-old Sheffield High School junior in Marshall County.

Crime scene tape, tire tracks, and tire tread mark the spot where Derica Patterson was gunned down and killed.

"They were shooting the car up," said Carol Dye, the girl's mother. "My son says he grabbed her and told her to get down but before he could, she didn't cry, she was already gone."

Deputies say the shooting happened around 2:30 Christmas morning and they received several 911 calls from the area.

The callers reported several shots being fired into Patterson's car by another passing motorist along the highway.

The shooting happened in the west bound lanes of Highway 72 near Slayden, MS. Several shots were fired by an assault rifle into a car with five people inside, investigators say. After the gunfire, the car drove off the highway and into a ditch, according to deputies.

Derica Patterson died on the scene and another shooting victim was flown to the MED and released Monday morning.

The three others in the car had minor injuries.

"It's Christmas Day...my whole world went before me," Dye said. "They took my baby from me."

Marshall County deputies said shootings like this one are getting the attention of law enforcement all over the Mid-South because the victims and suspects are getting younger.

Derica Patterson's family also has a lot of questions, especially since her life was cut short at such a young age.

Deputies said the suspect was driving a green Honda According, possibly with Shelby County license plates.

If you have any information that could lead to an arrest in this case, call Marshall County Crime Stoppers at 800-729-2169.

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