8-year-old hit by stray bullets on a long road to recovery
An 8-year-old girl is still in the hospital recovering after she was hit several times by stray bullets in St. Paul.
Lauren, the gunshot victim, is a little girl full of energy and loves to get caught up in conversation.
“She has a really bubbly personality and she asks a lot of inquisitive questions,” Lauren’s mom said.
Now her family is asking — Why?
“I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy,” she said.
Lauren’s mom didn’t want to show her face on camera or share her name in fear of retaliation.
On June 20, around 10:15 p.m. her world stopped.
Right off the 800 block of Bradley Street, she was outside with her daughter and other kids while they were playing steps away from her doorstep.
Then, they heard gunfire.
“We froze for a minute and said ‘What’s that noise?’ Then, we realized it was gunshots and people started running around like a stampede,” she said.
Lauren was shot four times: twice in her neck, once in the cheek and a bullet remains in her back. She’s already had two surgeries and more could follow.
“She kept telling me ‘I’m getting sleepy. I’m getting sleepy’ and I said, ‘Don’t go to sleep,” Lauren’s mom said. “I thought she was going to die. I was praying to God.”
Lauren was rushed to Regions Hospital.
Her future went from playing outside like a kid to doctor visits, surgeries and physical therapy.
“Like her uncle said we always knew Lauren would be fine because she’s a strong person. The thing that will bother her the most is she won’t be able to talk,” her mother said.”It’s going to be long [recovery.] She’s sad. She has her good moments and her bad moments.”
Her mother explained something needs to be done about gun violence, but in the meantime, she’s taking action on her own by packing up and leaving St. Paul.
“I’m unsafe. I don’t want to go back,” she said.
The family is fundraising to help with medical bills and relocation to a safer place.
St. Paul Police Department is still searching for who’s responsible for the shooting