FOREST CITY, N.C. (FOX Carolina) -- The Forest City Police Department said a young girl has died after she was severely injured in a shooting Tuesday evening.

The shooting happened along the intersection of Oak Street and Harmon Street around 5 p.m. 

When officers arrived to the scene, they found two individuals pulling a 7-year-old girl from a vehicle. She was suffering from a single gunshot wound to the head. 

The child was transported by helicopter to Spartanburg Regional Hospital for treatment. 

On Thursday, police confirmed the victim, Aaliyah Norris, had passed away from her injuries.

Forest City Dunbar Elementary shared a photo of Aaliyah and announced the tragic news:

The school released an additional statement to FOX Carolina saying: 

The Forest City - Dunbar family is heartbroken over the loss of one of our students, Aaliyah Norris.  Aaliyah was a sweet child who was happy, friendly, and always smiling.  Her teacher stated that during the time of school closure she would regularly ask when she could return to school to see her friends. 

Aaliyah's teachers and classmates loved her and are saddened by her loss.  Forest City - Dunbar sends our condolences to her family and loved ones during this difficult time.

Officials learned the suspects fled in a black SUV. Chief Leroy, with Forest City FD shared a photo captured on camera of the suspected vehicle. 

Through their investigation, police were able to identify Shaquille Marshon Francis, 26, as the suspect. 

Francis was arrested Wednesday without incident, and charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury with intent to kill, discharging a weapon into occupied property inflicting serious bodily injury, and discharging a firearm within city limits. 

On Thursday, police chief Chris Leroy confirmed Francis' assault charge had been upgraded to murder.

Leroy said Francis released from jail just a few hours before Tuesday's shooting. He was in custody for unrelated charges.

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mercenary76

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