4-Year-Old Girl, Kaari Thompson, Shot to Death in Local Pennsylvania Grocery Store; Mother Remains in Critical Condition

A shooting at a local grocery store in the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Lincoln-Lemington-Belmar left a four-year-old girl, Kaari Thompson, dead and her mother in critical condition.

The incident occurred on December 1, but authorities have yet to bring anyone into custody as they continue their search for the perpetrators. 

The four-year-old girl has been identified as Kaari Thompson, a charismatic little girl who was described as having a bright future. Her mother, who was also shot during the incident, is currently fighting for her life in a local hospital. Police are unsure if Kaari and/or her mother were the intended targets of the attack.

“This incident occurred because some people decided to settle their differences by using guns and violence. Our detectives and officers are working very hard to identify the individuals responsible for this crime and take them off the street,” said Pittsburgh Police Chief Thomas Stangrecki this past Friday. 

Local police officers responded to multiple gunshots being fired on Lincoln Avenue before 7 p.m. on Thursday. Initial reports suggest that one of the victims was shot inside the grocery store – Brooklyn Food Mart. Investigators are still searching for a motive, considering they aren’t able to speak with the mother. 

After the shooting, multiple suspects ran off in various directions – sparking an intense and continued search for the gunmen. While the police either don’t have or aren’t releasing descriptions of the suspects, they’re asking the surrounding community to help them by providing any information they might have. 

“Anybody that saw or heard anything, anybody that has information that they’re hearing, anyone that saw or heard anything live or information that they’re hearing from another source, we’re asking and pleading with anybody to come forward and share that with us,” said Zone 5 Commander Stephen Vinansky

On Friday, Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey reached out to the community during a difficult time. He praised the city’s ability to rally around each other while pleading with residents to come forward with information. “[Guns] don’t solve problems. All they do is allow us to lose two people,” he said in a moving speech. 

Loved Ones Pay Tribute to Kaari Thompson, Who Was Taken Far Too Soon

In the days since learning of her passing, Kaari Thompson has had several loved ones and family members speak of her incredible personality and outlook on life. Despite being just four years old, Kaari had a way of lighting up the room and filling her family’s hearts with so much joy during her short life. 

“In four years, she gave me more joy than most people can get in 40 years,” said her grandfather at a recent vigil ceremony. “Our whole family is devastated. This was senseless. Why would you gun down a 4-year-old?” Kaari’s aunt added. Similar sentiments were shared by members of the community. 

Tiffani Walker, a friend of the family and bonafide community activist, spoke of Kaari’s ‘charismatic personality’ which lit up every room she stepped foot in. She believed Kaari was a superstar in the making and was excited to see her grow and develop. Unfortunately, gun violence deprived Kaari of that future. 

“She enjoyed playing in the classroom’s housekeeping section and making pretend food for everyone. She was very bright and an absolute joy to have in class. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time,” the Pittsburgh Public Schools wrote in a statement, regarding Kaari Thompson.