Woman arrested for shooting teen sister in Miami

“Thinking the firearm was free of live rounds, Ms. Holt said she went to pass the firearm over to her sister, Ms. Ponder (who was sitting behind the driver), but accidentally shot her,” Miami Beach police said in a report.

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An Atlanta woman will likely be charged with manslaughter after accidentally shooting her teenage sister.

On Sunday night, 24-year-old Taniyria Holt of Atlanta was arrested by Miami police. Holt’s 18-year-old sister, whom police identified in an unredacted report as Dre’Naya Ponder, is now hospitalized with “no expectancy of survival,” per PEOPLE. 

According to police, Holt was riding in the passenger’s seat of a 2019 Jaguar F-Pace on Miami Beach’s Alton Road northbound ramp with the victim and two other women when the accidental shooting occurred.

While in the vehicle, Holt was handling a 9mm handgun owned by Ashley Burden, who was sitting directly behind Holt, the Miami Herald reports. The women in the vehicle were also recording their interactions on cell phones before the incident. 

Initially, police thought that Ponder’s injuries were self-inflicted but said that Holt waived her Miranda right to remain silent, ultimately confessing to the accident.

(Taniyria Holt, Miami-Dade corrections)

Holt told Miami police that she “racked” the gun, which is the grip and release of the gun’s slide, and saw live rounds eject before handing it to Ponder. Unfortunately, the gun was still loaded and Holt accidentally shot Ponder in the face. 

“Thinking the firearm was free of live rounds, Ms. Holt said she went to pass the firearm over to her sister, Ms. Ponder (who was sitting behind the driver), but accidentally shot her,” Miami Beach police said in a report. “The cellular phone being utilized by Ms. Ponder showed signs of the projectile having penetrated it as said projectile struck Ponder in the facial area, causing her injuries.”

On Sunday evening, the Miami Beach Police Department tweeted more details about their investigation, which caused the temporary shutdown of the city’s northbound Alton Road Flyover and Julia Tuttle Causeway. 

“This evening, at 8:14 p.m., we received a 911 call of a possible gunshot wound victim in a vehicle near the Julia Tuttle Causeway,” said police. “Officers and fire rescue personnel immediately responded and ultimately located a vehicle along the northbound Alton Road ramp from the eastbound Julia Tuttle Causeway. A female with an apparent gunshot wound has been transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital.”

Following the arrival of police to the scene, Holt was arrested and charged with “culpable negligence that inflicts personal injury and improper exhibition of firearms,” according to PEOPLE. She is currently being held at Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center without bail. 

On Monday, a police report confirmed that Ponder remains on life support at Jackson Memorial Hospital with “no expectancy of survival.” Ponder’s family is expected to travel to Miami from Georgia to meet with doctors, according to the Miami Herald, and it is unconfirmed whether Holt has obtained an attorney. 

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