NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A 1-year-old girl was shot in Newark and rushed to the hospital Monday.
According to the family, the toddler was shot in the head and survived emergency surgery, CBS2’s Jessica Layton reported.READ MORE: FBI Executes Search Warrant At Home Of Gabby Petito's Fiancé Brian Laundrie
The toddler was rushed to University Hospital around 1:15 p.m. Police said she was an unintended victim in a targeted shooting at 14th Avenue and South 6th Street in the city’s Central Ward.
Witnesses say they heard several gunshots, with the child becoming caught in the crossfire. Even in a neighborhood where violence is considered common, a baby taking a bullet is too much to comprehend.
“I feel very unsafe because if a [one-year-old] can get shot, anybody can get shot,” a neighbor said through her front door.
Nobody needs answers more than the family surrounding the little girl’s bedside.
“Shaken up… How does it happen? How does that even happen?” said Antuan Austin, a close cousin.
CBS2 spoke with Austin shortly after the girl came out of surgery.READ MORE: Yonkers Police: 2 Men Dead After One Jumps Off Building And Hits The Other 12 Stories Below
“Right now, she just made it out of surgery. So, for the most part, the bullet went in and went out, but it just tapped her spine. So the immediate effect, she’s OK. But we don’t know about long term,” Austin said. “Right now, we’re blessed she was able to survive it.”
Police are not saying how many people they’re looking for or what happened before the shots were fired. But the suspects took off from the scene so fast, they took out a street sign with their car.
“When you got children and innocent bystanders and elderly seniors and everything affected by your nonsense, come on,” said Austin.
The Newark Community Street Team responds to areas of violence to prevent retaliation. They were also at the hospital to bring food to the family.
“If we stop individuals that are older from trying to harm one another, then nobody that’s two years old has to be injured,” said Daamin Durden, a member of the Street Team.
Austin had a message for those who came so close to killing the girl:
“Come forward,” he said.
For now, the family is clinging to hope that she can hold in.MORE NEWS: New York City Public Schools To Increase COVID Testing, Relax Quarantine Rules
CBS2’s Jessica Layton contributed to this report.