Suspect charged with running over, killing 12-year-old girl on Belle Isle Beach on Memorial Day

The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office announced on Friday that a 23-year-old man has been arraigned on charges after police said he drove onto a populated beach on Belle Isle, hitting and killing a 12-year-old girl.

Alexander Armond Smith, 23, was charged with murder, leaving the scene of an accident, and reckless driving in the death of 12-year-old Ghadir Saleh on Monday. The Detroit man is accused of hitting the young girl and her 14-year-old sister and then speeding off from the scene.

Prosecutor Kym Worthy did not say if Smith intentionally drove onto the beach.

"Mass shootings, especially ones where the victims are children—get a lot of attention and they absolutely should. But we must also remember individual cases where children lose their lives through violence—no matter the instrumentality of death. More will be revealed about the alleged facts of this case later because this tragic incident is still under active investigation by the Michigan State Police," said Prosecutor Kym Worthy.

He was later arrested on the city's west side.

According to police, the man was on Riverbank Drive when he drove off the road and onto the beach, hitting the girls.

Saleh and her family had just immigrated from war-torn Yemen a few months ago and made their very first trip to Belle Isle Beach on Memorial Day when they were hit. 

Both girls were rushed to the hospital and Saleh later died. Her older sister had been stabilized but on Thursday, police said her condition worsened and she was downgraded to critical.

It's not clear why he drove on to the beach. Michigan State Police say drugs and alcohol were not believed to be a factor.

Gadir Saleh, 12, was killed Monday when a driver hopped the curb on Belle Isle Beach and hit her.