An 8-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy were wounded in separate shootings Monday evening in Gary, Indiana.
The latest shooting happened around 9:30 p.m. in the 4300 block of West 19th Avenue.
Devon was rushed to Methodist Hospital, and later was airlifted to Comer Children’s Hospital at University of Chicago Medicine, where he underwent surgery Tuesday morning.
Bernard Carter arrived home shortly after the shooting, and found his block swarming with police.
“It’s heartbreaking, because I’ve been here for 25 years, and it’s a nice neighborhood, and lately the last couple years it’s been getting kind of bad,” he said. “They drive right down the street, and shoot like they don’t care. … I was here washing my truck a couple weeks ago, and there go an SUV shooting down the street. I grabbed my daughter, and got behind the car.”
Police said the bullet that struck Devon was intended for a relative.
About four hours before Devon was shot, 8-year-old Harmoni Harton was wounded by a stray bullet about a mile away.
“We heard a bang, and we didn’t know what it was, and I looked; the whole window was shattered,” said her grandfather, Felix Binion.
What was more shattering was what Harmoni did next.
“She kind of whined a little bit,” Binion said.
When he looked closer, Binion saw Harmoni was bleeding from a bullet wound in her side.
“I asked her what was wrong. She kind of raised her T-shirt, and I seen a trickle of blood, and a small hole,” he said.
Although Harmoni never lost consciousness, her injuries were so severe, she had to be airlifted from Methodist Hospital in Gary to the trauma center at Comer. Binion said he believes his granddaughter will make a full recovery after surgery.
Harmoni and Devon both were in serious but stable condition Tuesday morning at Comer.
No one was in custody for either shooting.
“We are outraged these two innocent children were injured. We’re harmed, and the community needs to stand up, and that’s why we’re asking for the community’s help,” Gary Police Chief Larry McKinley said.
Gary police have not determined if the shootings were related, but they have not ruled out that possibility. A white Pontiac was seen leaving the scene of Harmoni’s shooting, and a silver and white Pontiac was seen leaving the scene of Devon’s shooting, but police said there is no reason to believe they were the same vehicle.