Former child actress Jonshel Alexander, who co-starred in 2012’s Beasts of the Southern Wild, was reportedly shot and killed Saturday night in New Orleans. She was 22.
Alexander and another man were sitting inside a car in New Orleans’ 7th ward when they were shot by an assailant who fled the scene, according to the Associated Press and The New Orleans Times-Picayune.
Alexander was declared dead on the scene by paramedics while the male victim was reportedly able to drive himself to the hospital.
The gunman remains at large but investigators said they have located a maroon pickup truck that was used by the killer, per the Times-Picayun
Alexander reportedly beat out 4,000 young actors when she landed the supporting role of Joy Strong in Beasts of the Southern Wild.
The Oscar-nominated film centers on an impoverished bayou community located outside of New Orleans’ storm levee system. The film’s star Quvenzhané Wallis became the youngest nominee for a Best Lead Actress Oscar.
Alexander’s mother Shelly Alexander said on Tuesday that the filmmakers “fell in love with” her late daughter.
“She was like, ‘I’m going to be in this movie,’” her mother remembered, per the Times-Picayune. “They fell in love with Jonshel.”
Shelly continued, “She brought life to everything. Jonshel was feisty, jazzy, spoiled. It was her way or no way. Jonshel was like, ‘It’s going to be me.’ “
Director Benh Zeitlin described Alexander as an “absolute one-of-a-kind, unforgettable, force-of-nature human being,” adding: “She was a really bright burning light.”
Alexander is reportedly survived by her 1-year-old daughter, De-vynne Robinson.
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