HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBS 2) — A 12-year-old girl is lucky to be alive.
She was hit by a stray bullet that flew through the window of her own home as she walked in her slippers and pajamas heading to bed.
The child spoke exclusively to CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan on Monday.
Tears flowed down her cheeks. Her parents listened as the child recounted to McLogan the horror of hearing shots ringing out Saturday evening and realizing bullets were actually piercing through her bedroom window and the front door of their home.
“I heard one gunshot and it shattered the screen door, and then I started hearing a bunch of them and then it hit my leg,” the girl said. “I was screaming and stuff because it was really hurting. And my legs kept shaking.”
Her mom came running from the bathroom shower, held her daughter in her arms and frantically dialed 911.
“She called the ambulance and everything. They cut my pajamas that I was wearing so they could see what happened, and they put me on the stretcher and into the ambulance and they put five needles in my arms,” the girl said.
The middle school student was rushed to nearby Winthrop Hospital where she remained over the weekend. The bullet just missed major arteries, entering and exiting through her upper leg.
The gunmen are on the loose. Detectives are investigating whether it was a random drive-by shooting or if bullets between gang members flew from the street and a nearby park into the victim’s home.
“We have a witness who did not see the incident but heard shots fired and simultaneous car tires screech off,” Hempstead Village Police Chief Michael McGowan said.
The child and her family live off Clinton road in Hempstead, just blocks from the Garden City village line. Her parents said they’ve never known such violence on their street.
The girl told McLogan she was scared out of her mind, but added she has no idea who could have shot her.
The seventh grader said she is reluctant to sleep in her bedroom again. It’s now filled with balloons and bullet holes.
Asked what scares her now, the girls said, “that they can just come back and do it again.”
Police said the community is already responding with anonymous tips.
The girl said she is eager to return to school and put this horrible ordeal behind her.
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