One year later, family of slain girl relieved by arrests of 6 suspects

A drug deal between rival gangs in the Carrollton area took a violent turn on the morning of September 2, 2013, according to police.

A deadly shootout ensued, catching three innocent people in the crossfire.

Eleven-year-old Arabian Gayles died when bullets ripped through the walls of her family's home on General Ogden. Two others, including Gayle's 11-year-old cousin, were injured.

Thursday, more than a year after the shooting, investigators announced the arrests of six suspects.

Chris Arana, Terry Green, Jermaine Scott and Jacshan Griffin were booked with first-degree murder. Police booked Ronnell Martin and Roderick Taylor as accessories.

For Squarie Gayles, Arabian's father, news of the arrests brought a sense of relief, but the overwhelming pain continues.

"I feel a little sunshine in the midst of these dark clouds that I've been going through since last year," he said. "But, I know at the end of the day, the dark clouds are going to return because I'm never going to see my baby again and it hurts me so deep, and I think I'll never get over this one."

At a news conference Thursday, NOPD officials said the suspects are connected to rival gangs, known as the Breadwinners and MMG. A multi-agency gang task force developed key information recently, leading to the arrests.

Interim NOPD Supt. Michael Harrison said violence against children weighs heavily on his officers.

"I think that touches every last one of us here and every member our department, every member of our community. All of us are affected professionally and personally by that," he said.

Late Thursday afternoon, loved ones gathered at a home to talk about the break in the case, one day after what would have been Arabian's 13th birthday.

Family members were overcome with emotion, as the news brought them back to that violent day last year.

"(Arabian is) not there and it's not going to ever change, and since that day happened, my life hasn't been the same because I know I'm missing one of my kids, and the way she died is just horrific," Squarie Gayles said. "It's like a nightmare that I can't wake up from."

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