Shooting death of 14-year-old girl in Tampa remains unsolved; mother pleads for justice

The mother of a young girl and Tampa police detectives are asking the public for tips after the 14-year-old's body was found along the side of a road last week

The teen was identified by detectives as Nilexia B. Alexander. On Friday morning, she was found shot to death on Floribraska Avenue North. She was considered a runaway from Temple Terrace.

On Tuesday, Alexander's mother spoke publicly from the Tampa Police Department's headquarters, pleading with the public for tips that would lead to the arrest of her daughter's killer.

"I want whoever did this to my baby brought to justice. I need justice for my 14-year-old daughter," she said. "Please, please, I beg the city – help me find the person responsible for my baby's death."

PREVIOUS: Victim found shot to death believed to be missing 14-year-old runaway, police say

The grieving mom added that she hoped no other family would have to experience what she is going through.

"You should not have to bury your baby, you should not have to bury your child," she said through tears, holding up a picture of her daughter. "She was just 14. A 14-year-old little girl, murdered for no reason."

Around 3:15 a.m. Friday, police said shots were fired in the 100 block of Floribraska Avenue North. When officers arrived, they said they found a "young female by the road."

Neighbors described hearing as many as eight gunshots and a car leaving the scene. 

Investigators said Alexander was known to spend time in the Jackson Heights area when she left her home in Temple Terrace. 

"Nobody deserves to die at the hands of somebody," said assistant Tampa Police Spokesperson Sandra Bentil. "We'd like to get some justice for this victim."

The family invited members of the public to gather Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. at the 100 block of Floribraska Avenue North, where Alexander was killed, for a balloon release to celebrate her life.

The shooter and shooter's motives are still a mystery. Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-8477.