A 10-year-old girl was shot and killed by a juvenile male in the 1400 block of McAllister Street in Crozet on Tuesday morning, Albemarle County police said.
The shooting happened near the Open Door Ministry Center, which hosts an after-school childcare center affiliated with Commonwealth Christian Community, formerly Victory Hill Baptist Church, police said.
The shooting did not take place inside the childcare center, said police spokeswoman Carter Johnson.
"The church did not have anything to do with the incident; we were just using that as a staging area," Johnson said.
Police refused to identify the child or the shooter, their relationship, or whether the incident was accidental.
"We cannot get into specifics of anyone who was involved," Johnson said.
Sophia Brown was on St. George Avenue, about 100 yards from the ministry building around 10 a.m. and said she heard a commotion but no gunshot.
“I saw a little girl running and screaming and carrying on and there was another girl or woman running behind her,” Brown said. “What I don’t understand is that I didn’t hear the gunshot.”
The Open Door Ministry Center is set back off the road in a quiet neighborhood north of Crozet's downtown. Neighbors and friends of the victim's family came and went from the center throughout the day. Mourners could be seen hugging and consoling one another on the front steps of the building, which sits across the street from three houses on McAllister.
Phil Smuland, a chaplain with Advancing Native Missions, said he came to pray for the family.
"I am asking support for them from the God of all comfort," Smuland said.
Susan Coleman, who lives about 100 yards from the church at the corner of McAllister Street and St. George Avenue, said a family who lives near the church was involved.
"It's a tight-knit community, this just saddens everybody," she said. "They're just great people, good Christians."
After-school childcare services were moved from McAllister Street to the main Commonwealth Christian Community church building on Patterson Mill Lane. Workers at the church declined to answer a reporter’s questions Tuesday afternoon.
Family members and church members were not available for comment Tuesday afternoon.