NEWARK, NJ (CBSNewYork) – A 1 year old girl was shot dead in Newark and taken to hospital on Monday.
According to the family, the toddler was shot in the head and survived the emergency surgery, CBS2’s Jessica Layton reported.
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The toddler was rushed to the university hospital around 1:15 p.m. Police said she was an unintentional victim of a targeted shooting on 14th Avenue and South 6th Street in the city’s Central Ward.
Witnesses say they heard several gunshots which resulted in the child caught in the crossfire. Even in a neighborhood where violence is considered common, a baby taking a bullet is too much to understand.
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“I feel very insecure because if a [one-year-old] can be shot, anyone can be shot, ”said a neighbor through her front door.
Nobody needs more answers than the family surrounding the little girl’s bed.
“Shattered … How does that happen? How does that even happen? “said Antuan Austin, a close cousin.
CBS2 spoke to Austin shortly after the girl finished the surgery.
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“At the moment she just made it out of the operation. So the bullet went mostly in and out, but it only hit her back. So the immediate effect, it’s fine. But we don’t know about long-term, ”Austin said. “Right now we’re blessed that she survived.”
The police do not say how many people they are looking for or what happened before the shots were fired. But the suspects left the scene so quickly that they took out a street sign with their car.
“When you have kids and innocent bystanders and older seniors and all of your nonsense involved, come on,” Austin said.
The Newark Community Street Team responds to areas of violence to prevent retaliation. They were also in the hospital bringing food to the family.
“If we stop older people from harming each other, no one is injured who is two years old,” said Daamin Durden, a member of the Street team.
Austin had a message for those who were this close to killing the girl:
“Come up front,” he said.
For now, the family is clinging to hope that they can hold out.
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Jessica Layton of CBS2 contributed to this report.