TYLER, TX (KLTV) – Early Friday morning, a stray bullet hit and killed a 15-year-old Longview girl while she sat in her mother's car.
Around one this morning, a gunman allegedly fired several shots following a disturbance at Williams Chicken on Gentry Parkway in Tyler.
Tyler police say Nicole Cartwright was just an innocent bystander who got caught in the crossfire.
"I said no. I said no and then she said 'Momma please let us go. It's my sister's birthday. Momma we've been planning this.' I let them go. I let my baby go," says Gloria Cartwright, the victim's mother.
That was the last time Gloria saw her 15-year-old daughter, Nicole.
"They wanted their little sister to go with them. She was the baby," Cartwright tells us.
On the way home, the girls stopped at Williams Chicken, and what happened next, no one could have predicted.
"There was an altercation and they started shooting," said Cartwright. "My girls was in the car with their friends, in my car, and Nicole caught a bullet in the head. The bullet came in through the window."
Police say a lone gunman fired multiple shots from the Williams Chicken parking lot.
Nicole and her sisters stopped in the carwash parking lot next door to eat before heading back home to Longview.
"Her sister called and said 'Nikki got shot!' and after that, I just—everything went blank," Cartwright explained.
Nicole was killed on Gloria Cartwright's birthday.
Cartwright says there is nothing can fill the void, on what was supposed to be a happy day.