Child hit by drive-by gunfire recovering at home

By Heather Leigh, Mobile journalist, hleigh@wjxt.com
Published On: Aug 12 2014 04:23:12 PM EDT
Updated On: Aug 12 2014 04:30:52 PM EDT

VIDEO: A 6-year-old is in the hospital recovering after being shot in an apparent drive-by shooting. Detectives say the child was sitting on the front porch along with other young children, though no other reported injuries.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

A 6-year-old girl is recovering at home one day after she was shot in the arm while playing on the porch of her Moncrief Road home.

What police described as a drive-by shooting happened about 11 p.m. Monday on Moncrief near the Interstate 95 and MLK Parkway interchange.

The victim's godfather didn't want to show his face on camera, but told News4Jax that he heard the car drive up, stop and then he heard gun shots.

"It's hard to fathom, but imagine hearing a 6-year-old girl tell you she had been shot by a drive-by shooter," the godfather said.  "She came in the living room, was talking to me (and) said, 'I'm hit.' She knew she'd been shot."

He said he immediately put her in his truck and rushed her to UF Health Jacksonville. 

He said he wants answers about who did it, but doubts that will happen.

"I’m frustrated right now. (I) don't know who shot her. That's just the way it is around here, nobody say nothing. Don't tell nothing, they just keep it to themselves. That's what we need to stop right there, you need to let somebody know, because people, children are getting caught in the crossfire around here. Innocent, innocent children."

Fred Clark, a nearby business owner who said he'd been in the neighborhood for 30 years, said something has to change, but figuring out where to start isn't easy.

"These kids out here need something to do. We need to just sit down, and really talk and really figure out what needs to be done ... instead of just trying to push everybody out of the way and sweep it up under the rug," Clark said. "It's happening everywhere, you know?"

Gil Smith, News4Jax's crime and safety expert, said parents should keep kids inside at night and watch them closely.

"Things usually happen after dark, after 9, 10 o'clock, all the way up to 3, 4 in the morning, because they have the cover of darkness -- a less chance of someone being able to identify them," Smith said.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said witnesses described the car from which the shots were fired as a gold Toyota Camry, but they don't how many people were in the car, or why shots were fired at that house.

Police are asking anyone with any information about who shot the girl to call Crimestoppers, where you can remain anonymous and collect a cash reward of up to $3,000. That phone number Is 1-866-845-TIPS.

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