Teenager struck by stray bullet in neighborhood shooting
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (WSVN) -- Investigators spent all day Tuesday canvassing a South Florida neighborhood as they looked for clues in the case of a 13-year-old girl shot in her own backyard by a stray bullet.
Nevelisha Francis is currently recovering at Jackson Memorial Hospital from a gunshot wound to the leg she sustained while she sat on her back porch, shortly before 9 p.m., Monday.
Miami Gardens Police said the shooting took place in an alleyway, located behind the victim's home in the area of Northwest Second Court and 204th Street. According to investigators, a stray bullet flew through the fence and struck Francis.
Neighbors said they heard eight shots go off. When officers arrived, they noticed bullet holes in the rear of the residence and found multiple shell casings.
"I was upset, but I had to calm myself down," said Ramario Francis, the victim's brother, about the moment he realized his sister had been shot.
The young girl remains in stable condition.
Francis' mother, who declined to give her name, said she no longer feels safe in the neighborhood she has lived in for 18 years. "It's disgusting; I want to move," she said.
The victim's mother pointed at different directions as she cited a string of similar incidents in the area. "Shooting there, shooting around here," she said. "I just didn't expect it."
Francis' mother said her prayer kept her daughter safe. "I was praying 10 minutes before it happened ... to God Almighty,'" she said.
Ramario Francis, the victim's brother, said his sister is an avid athlete. "She plays tennis all day, she goes to school and goes to church," he said.
More than 24 hours after the shooting, Miami Gardens crime scene detectives went door to door, hoping area residents saw something that will lead them to capture the alleged gunmen.
"Did they find the people? Did they even know who did it?" concerned neighbor Jackie Sosa asked a 7News reporter.
She said her daughter should be home from JMH sometime Wednesday. "She's OK. She's going to play tennis again," she said.
If you have any information on this shooting, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.
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