A California family was outside their Oakland home at midnight on New Year’s when gunshots rang out.
Roxanne Perez said she could hear a family party going on at her neighbor’s house when someone started firing off a weapon in celebration nearby. She told ABC 13:
“Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, you know. And I told my husband, ‘Baby, we better get our butts in the house before we get hit.'”
That’s when a 6-year-old girl attending the party was struck in the head by a bullet, according to police.
The homeowner who threw the party didn’t wish to be identified but told the outlet that it was his friend’s daughter who was shot.
He said the father assumed the girl had fallen and hit her head, but learned she had actually been shot when he rushed her to the hospital.
— Jobina Fortson (@JobinaFortson) January 1, 2019
Police said a bullet was also found in a parked car near the home and the person likely fired the gun within a mile of the party.
Another neighbor, Latoya Keller, told KGO that she doesn’t go outside on New Year’s because of the danger:
“That’s part of the reason I stay at home, is people are out there doing what they shouldn’t be.”
Oakland police chief Anne Kirkpatrick is now asking for local residents to find a more safe way to ring in the new year. She said:
“This is our mantra, it is put the guns down. It is foolishness, it is unnecessary, and in this case, quite an innocent child was affected and harmed by this foolishness.”
Police are currently offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the person responsible for firing the weapon. They are encouraging members of the public to speak out.
Thankfully, the child is in stable condition and is expected to be okay.