Jeremi Brito dies after home invasion shooting, sister Kiara also killed

3:25 PM, Jun 6, 2011   |    comments
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UPDATE: Tampa police say a 13-year-old boy who was shot while in his home has been pronounced dead. His older sister was also killed in the shooting.

According to a police statement, Jeremi Brito was pronounced dead at Tampa General Hospital Monday afternoon.

Police say he and 16-year-old Kiara Brito were the only ones home early Sunday morning when the shooting occurred. They say the children were shot multiple times. Police have said the house was targeted and it doesn't appear the shooter forced his way inside.

Neighbors told police they heard gunshots and called 911.

Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the identification and arrest of those involved. Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-8477.

Original Story:

Tampa, Florida -- Students are mourning the loss of a classmate after she was gunned down in her own home, while her 13-year-old brother is fighting for his life.

At about 7:45 Monday morning, Robinson High School's principal is expected to speak over the PA system inside the South Tampa school.

Principal Laura Zavatky is expected to tell her students about what happened, and then let them know grief counselors will be available all day.

Then, she'll have to ask them to somehow concentrate. This is the last week of school; students have final exams and more on their minds, as well.

Hundreds of students already know this awful story. Sunday night, about 200 classmates and neighbors gathered in front of the house on Van Buren Drive -- now a crime scene -- and lit candles.

Police say the home just north of MacDill Air Force Base had been targeted for a home invasion, but won't give more details on why.

At about 6 a.m. Sunday morning, neighbors say Kiara and Jeremi Brito were home alone. Someone burst into the house and shot both the 16-year old girl and 13-year old boy.

Jeremi Brito is a sixth-grader at Madison Middle School. As of our last update, he's in critical condition at the hospital.

His sister Kiara did not survive.

She was a point guard on the Robinson High basketball team. Her friends say she was a very good student, with dreams of heading off to college after her upcoming senior year.

"[Jeremi] would stay away from trouble. He was like a little brother and my best friend, and I've known him for about 6 years," said friend Aria Procko.

"Kiara -- I go to school with her and she was like my big sister. And when I woke up this morning I just started bawling crying."

Police haven't said where the children's mother was Sunday morning. Some neighbors say it's not uncommon to see strange activity at the house, including cars coming and going at all hours.

The students coming back to class at Robinson on Monday will continue to have a lot of questions. As far as suspects go, police have not released any information about whom they may be looking for.

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Grayson Kamm, 10 News

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