Mom mourns ‘my princess,' 10-year-old girl shot by neighbor in Springfield

"My whole heart has been completely ripped out of my chest. It’s shattered. It hurts. The pain I feel is unbearable," Stephanie Croteau wrote in a Facebook post

An ambulance at the scene of a deadly shooting in Springfield, Massachusetts, on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023.

A 10-year-old Massachusetts girl shot by a neighbor who forced his way into her family's apartment earlier this week has died, authorities and her mother said.

The girl, identified as Aubrianna Lynn, was shot in Springfield on Monday and died on Thursday, her mother posted on Facebook.



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“At 12:56pm, my princess Aubrianna Lynn’s heart stopped beating," Stephanie Croteau wrote. “It was peaceful, she was not in any pain. She was surrounded by her family. My whole heart has been completely ripped out of my chest. It’s shattered. It hurts. The pain I feel is unbearable."

The girl's death was confirmed by Jim Leydon, a spokesperson for the Hampden district attorney's office.

A Springfield, Massachusetts man forced his way into his neighbor's home, shooting and killing her, and shot her grandchildren, leaving one of them in critical condition, before turning the gun on himself, officials said Tuesday.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno called the girl an “angel."

“As a father of two daughters, there are no words to express my feelings about this tragic loss of life," he said in a statement. “A brave and bright angel, 10-year-old Aubrianna Lynn, has been taken away all to soon from her family. Let her legacy be a clarion call to all of us to redouble our efforts in her memory to do everything we can to end these senseless acts of violence."

Police went to the multifamily home on Monday afternoon after receiving reports of gunfire.

Aubrianna's grandmother, Kim Fairbanks, 52, was also killed in the shooting, while a 12-year-old sister suffered a gunshot wound. Her 5-year-old brother was in the home but was not physically harmed. The family dog was also killed.

All three children were taken to a Springfield hospital before the younger girl was flown to a Boston hospital in critical condition, authorities said.

Responding officers also found the suspected shooter, identified as 34-year-old Victor Nieves, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot.

Investigators say Nieves, who lived in the upstairs apartment, forcibly entered his neighbor’s front door and began shooting at the occupants before shooting himself.

Authorities have not disclosed a possible motive, and continue to investigate the case.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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