BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) - Brianna Thomas, 12, her mother, and grandmother are asking for help after someone shot fireworks out of a truck window at her, causing serious burns.
"I thought I was going to die," said Brianna Thomas.
"She told me she thought she was going to die and I told her you know, with your mom there, I wasn't going to let that happen," said Shontrel Thomas, mother.
A day of celebration turned into a nightmare in a matter of minutes.
"I think there will always be that memory of yes this happened on the Fourth of July cause you know it's supposed to be something happy and celebratory and it turned negative," said Shontrel.
A family now broken from what they believe was a hate crime.
"This is not okay, and the perpitrators which are ignorant individuals need to be brought to justice," said Annette Brown, Grandmother.
Brianna Thomas was with a large group of people on the corner of Shotwell and River Streets waiting for the firework show to start.
According to police reports, a dodge truck slowed down in front of the group yelling racial slurs before setting off fireworks in their direction.
"The flame came straight to my baby's hair, my first reaction was to grab her and pat her because I saw smoke," said Shontrel.
"That really sparked something within us as a family. I feel that these shouldn't happen, we know they do. When it hits your back door you feel very strongly about it," said Brown.
The family is pleading with the community for answers, pictures, information, ANYTHING that can help find whoever may be responsible.
"This is a hideous crime, it's something that shouldn't happen, its not okay," said Brown.
For now, Brianna and her family are staying positive and just thankful that she was able to celebrate her 12th birthday on Wednesday.
Police said these suspects, once caught, could be facing aggravated assault charges and terroristic threats or hate crime related charges as well.
It's something they are taking very seriously.
If you have any information you are encouraged to call BPS.
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