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Man confesses to shooting dead girl (4) in New Mexico road rage attack

Tony Torrez has confessed to shooting dead a four-year-old girl while arguing with her father in the US city of Albuquerque.

Torrez, 32, was arrested on Wednesday and admitted to shooting Lilly Garcia while she was riding in the back seat of her father's pick-up truck with her seven-year-old brother a day earlier, police said.

He has been charged with murder, assault, child abuse and other crimes.

The children's father picked them up from school on Tuesday when someone in a Toyota opened fire on the family as they travelled down the motorway.

The father told authorities he was trying to exit the motorway when a car forced him out of his lane, a police statement said.

"The two drivers exchanged words when Torrez pulled out a gun and shot at the red truck driven by Lilly's father," the statement continued. "Lilly was hit at least once in the head."

The father pulled over and tried to give his daughter first aid as a bystander called the 911 emergency dispatch service.

In a roughly minute-long call released by police, a man alerts a dispatcher to a truck stopped with "an adult holding an unresponsive child".

Two nurses tried to save the girl's life, then an ambulance rushed her to the hospital, where she died, Albuquerque Police Chief Gorden Eden said.

Authorities quickly began pressing the public for tips, offering about 25,000 US dollars for information leading to the arrest of the gunman.

Police said an anonymous caller provided the name of a possible suspect on Wednesday. With that information and tips from the community, detectives found the suspect and detained him.

"This evening, Torrez confessed to investigators he was responsible for the murder," the police statement said. He is being held on a 650,000 dollar cash-only bond.

It is not clear what led the incident to escalate, but the father told officers the shooting was the result of road rage.

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