7-year-old shot and killed in Flint; police searching for suspect

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FLINT (WJRT) (10/9/2018) - A 7-year-old girl was shot and killed in Flint.

Z'naiah Burns, 7, was shot and killed inside her home in the 200 block of Austin Avenue in Flint on Tuesday evening.

The shooting took place Tuesday evening in the 200 block of Austin Avenue near Martin Luther King Avenue.

The girl's great-grandfather confirmed she died and identified her as Zaniyah Burns. She was a second grader at New Standard Academy on Carpenter Road.

Police at the scene said Zaniyah was sitting inside her house with her mother and brother when gunshots came into the home from outside. Great-grandfather William Long believes the shots came from the area of Ruth Street a block north.

"All I heard was shots -- five or six," Long said.

The Flint Police Department had K-9 teams searching for a suspect in the neighborhood late Tuesday. A police helicopter also was circling overhead for part of the evening.

Investigators could not immediately give a suspect description.

William Long said nobody in Zaniyah's house owns guns, so he doesn't believe anyone there fired the deadly shots.

June Long, who is Zaniyah's great-grandmother, had just spent time with her earlier Tuesday evening before the shooting.

"I looked at her and I said, 'Your hair is so pretty,'" June said, naming one of her final memories of Zaniyah. "We try to tell them every time they are around us that we love them.

She said the family is relying on God and meeting with their pastor to begin grieving their loss.

"There's a purpose for everything under the sun," June Long said. "We don't know why it had to happen to her, but there is a reason behind it. We don't know right, but we will know."

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