In a shocking incident, former American child actor Jonshel Alexander, known for her appearance in the 2012 film Beasts of the Southern Wild, was shot dead in New Orleans last week. She was 22. Alexander and another man were inside their car on November 27 when they were shot, the Associated Press has reported. She was later pronounced dead on the spot, while the man managed to drive the vehicle to a nearby hospital for treatment. A probe has been launched into the shooting incident, with investigators discovering the vehicle of interest connected to Alexander's killing. As of now, no suspects have been arrested. Alexander was 12 when she played the role of Joy Strong in the Academy Award-nominated indie film, which incidentally is her only film role to date. 

Jonshel Alexander was cast in Beasts of the Southern Wild after she first auditioned for the role of Hushpuppy, but was declined as she was too old for the character. The film, which won the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Award and went on to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, was shot near Houma and narrated the story of a poor Louisiana bayou community struggling for survival. Beasts of the Southern Wild director Benh Zeitlin chose to cast native Louisiana children among whom also included then-6-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis, who played the role of Hushpuppy who was nominated for the Best Actress award at the 2013 Oscars. Speaking to following Alexander's untimely demise, Zeitlin said, "We incorporated a part into the film that was very much inspired by her. 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. She was a really bright burning light." Zeitlin further stated that Alexander was an "absolute one-of-a-kind, unforgettable, force-of-nature human being."