Jacksonville police ask for public's help after releasing video in 7-year-old's death

Crime scene evidence key in investigation

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is searching for clues in the killing of 7-year-old Heidy Rivas-Villanueva. She was shot in the head Saturday while sitting in a car with her father and sibling.

Content Continues Below

Action News Jax law and safety expert Dale Carson reviewed the crime scene where Heidy​​​​​​​ was caught in the crossfire of a parking lot gunfight.

“It looks like a 9 mm or .45 with a hollow point round,” observed Carson as he looked at bullet damage in the facade of the shopping plaza on 103rd Street.

Carson took special notice of the trajectory of one round, to him, suggests it was fired downward from a truck or a tall person.

“At least 6-foot-5,” Carson said.

Carson points out that the surveillance video released by JSO Sunday shows one of the two persons of interest nearly shot by a round that hit the windshield of their getaway car.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office told Action News Jax they do not plan on releasing more surveillance video of the persons of interest because they say it could “hinder investigative efforts.”

“JSO could be protecting someone who is a witness from being identified,” said Action News Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson.

There is also a blood trail at the scene which Jefferson said could help investigators.

“They can take this blood sample and store it, and once they capture these individuals they can determine through DNA if the blood belongs to them,” Jefferson said.

Moses Moreno owns the store where Heidy's mother was shopping when the bullets started flying outside.

“I don’t know what to say,” Moreno said.

He tells Action News Jax the family visits the store on a regular basis.

“I feel so bad about it. Because I’m a father, too,” said Moreno tearfully.

Moreno says he could hear her father crying for help.

“I was trying to do something for him because he was screaming, trying to get help for his daughter,” Moreno said.

JSO told Action News Jax the persons of interest in this case can piece together why the gunfire erupted. One image released by JSO appears to show a person of interest holding a gun.

Police say they fled in a green early to mid-2000s Nissan Altima.

City and state officials held a joint news briefing Sunday.

“Today is really about identifying the people that did this,” Mayor Lenny Curry said.

Police said two people approached a dark sedan and confronted the driver before gunfire erupted from both sides. Police also believe a dark Kia parked next to that sedan was also involved.

Moments later, persons of interest are seen running away. Police said about 13 to 15 shots were fired in the exchange.

The video also shows what appears to be a bullet hitting the windshield of that Nissan.

"If you know those individuals," said Sheriff Mike Williams. "...you'll know who they are, they will help paint the picture of what happened."

If you call a tip in to Crime Stoppers, and it leads to an arrest, you may be eligible for an enhanced $11,000 reward.