AceShowbiz - Jonshel Alexander, a former child actor who starred in "Beasts of the Southern Wild", has tragically passed away in a shooting. The onetime child actress was fatally shot in her native Louisiana over the weekend. She was only 22 years old.
Jonshel was fatally shot on Saturday night, November 27 in New Orleans' 7th Ward. According to police, she and a man were shot in a vehicle in the 1500 block of North Claiborne Avenue at about 9 P.M.. Paramedics declared Jonshel dead there. The man drove himself to the hospital, The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reported.
Jonshel's mother Shelly Alexander said on Tuesday of her late daughter, "She brought life to everything. Jonshel was feisty, jazzy, spoiled. It was her way or no way." She remembered her daughter's audition for the 2012 Oscar-nominated movie, "She was like, 'I'm going to be in this movie.' They fell in love with Jonshel."
But Jonshel was too old to play the lead role of Hushpuppy, which went to 6-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis. Director Benh Zeitlin said he was captivated by Jonshel. He described her as an "absolute one-of-a-kind, unforgettable, force-of-nature human being" and cast her in the supporting role.
"We incorporated a part into the film that was very much inspired by her," the filmmaker said. "A lot of the lines were written by her, and so much of the character grew out of who Jonshel was. Her character in the film is named Joy Strong, which always seemed like a perfect description of Jonshel." He added, "She was a really bright burning light."
Benh said he was devastated to learn of her death and has been in touch with her family.
The shooting is currently under investigation. Investigators said they have located a vehicle of interest, a maroon pickup truck that they suspect was used by the killer. They are seeking a person of interest.