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Manhunt Underway for 27-Year-Old Man Suspected of Fatally Shooting a Mother and Her Young Daughter Inside Parked Car

Chasity Nuñez and her 11-year-old daughter Zella were shot and killed in their parked car in Worcester, Mass. on Tuesday

<p>Worcester Police Department</p> Dejan Belnavis mugshot

Worcester Police Department

Dejan Belnavis mugshot

A manhunt is underway in Worcester, Massachusetts, after a mother and her 11-year-old daughter were shot dead in a parked car on Tuesday.

Around 3:09 p.m. local time on Tuesday, Worcester police responded to a report of gunshots on a residential street and found two females, later identified as Chasity Nuñez and Zella Nuñez, inside a parked vehicle, per a police release. Both the mother and daughter had serious injuries from gunshot wounds and they were pronounced dead after they were transported to a local hospital.

On Wednesday, Worcester police identified 27-year-old Dejan Belnavis as a suspect in the fatal shooting and issued an arrest warrant for him, per the department's Facebook page. Belnavis is wanted for charges connected to the murder of the mother and daughter and is “considered armed and dangerous.”

Per police, a second individual, identified as Karel Mangual, 28, has been arrested on charges of armed assault to murder and carrying a firearm without a license. He also had a preexisting arrest warrant.

In a statement shared on Facebook, City Manager Eric D. Batista, Mayor Joseph M. Petty, Interim Police Chief Paul Saucier, and Superintendent Dr. Rachel Monárrez said they “stand alongside our community in sorrow and solidarity” in the wake of the tragedy.

“Today we mourn the senseless loss of two Worcester residents, a mother and daughter whose lives were taken far too soon and far too tragically. Collectively, we ask for patience and privacy on behalf of the victims’ family and friends and for the Worcester Public Schools who are grieving the loss of a student. An act of such violence has no place in our City,” the statement continued. “The residents of Worcester deserve better.”

“Worcester is a resilient community, and we know that our residents will lovingly embrace the victims’ family and friends as we work toward healing from this traumatic event.”

<p>Chasity Nunez/Instagram</p> Chasity and Zella Nunez

Chasity Nunez/Instagram

Chasity and Zella Nunez

Chastity leaves behind a 2-year-old daughter, according to her cousin, Tyrae Sims. "I'm thankful to God she wasn't in the car," Sims told NBC Boston. "It's a horrible silver lining, I guess."

Sims said Zella was “just the best. So full of life, such a good little girl. She didn't deserve it at all.”

He described Chastity, a childhood friend of his, as “the best mom she could possibly have been.”

“She loved those girls with all her heart,” he told the outlet.

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Worcester police encouraged anyone with information regarding the incident to reach out via an anonymous online tip service at worcesterma.gov/police or by calling the the Worcester Police Detective Bureau at (508) 799-8651.

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