SHELBY, N.C. — Police are stepping up patrols in a neighborhood after a drive-by shooting Monday night that sent a little girl to the hospital in Shelby.
Investigators were called to Toms Street around 11 p.m. and spent all night collecting evidence and interviewing neighbors.
Police told Channel 9 that the child was in the living room when someone drove by and fired several shots into her house and another one.
Neighbors said dozens of shots were fired into the homes.
Channel 9 was the first station on the scene and could see more than 50 evidence markers scattered across the ground.
Officers said that the girl, Aryanna Odoms, is only 4 years old and was shot in the side.
The home was struck by six bullets. The bullet that hit Aryanna traveled across the living room and through a door.
"I just can't believe that anybody can be that cruel and that cold hearted to actually shoot into anybody's house," her grandmother Sandra Odoms said.
A family member took her to Cleveland Memorial Hospital, where she was then transferred to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. Police said her injuries are not life-threatening.
The girl’s uncle, who was inside the house when the shots were fired, told Channel 9 that she was out of surgery and doing well, but there's a lot of confusion and anger from her family.
“I heard my sister saying, ‘My daughter bleeding, my daughter bleeding,’ so I ran in there seeing her lay on the floor. I picked her up, ran to the back door and got in the car and drove to the hospital,” said Delonta Leach.
Just before noon, the girl's grandmother told Channel 9 that the doctors were able to remove the bullet from Aryanna, and that she was recovering.
The girl’s other grandmother Bridget Smith said it’s been difficult to watch her go through surgeries and she wants the shooter(s) to know that.
“I want to know why first of all,” Smith said. “Why? Why would you open fire on a house? Was it that serious that you had to do something like that? You could have took my granddaughter's life.”
Some shots hit another house across the street.
One almost hit T.J. Green, 15, as he tried get his younger brothers and sister to safety.
"Terrifying,” Green said. “All I heard is the bullet shot, then I dropped and it landed right in front of me."
“It sounded like the Fourth of July going off, firecrackers and everything,” said Randolph Parrott. “The first shot went off, boom, boom, boom. When that boom, boom, boom came off I knew it was an AK or pistol.”
Police said there have been no arrests but told Channel 9 that they have a strong lead on a suspect and the vehicle involved in the shooting.
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