7-year-old’s school raises money for her family after accidental shooting

CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. — An elementary school in Catawba County is raising money for the family of a 7-year-old girl who was shot inside her home this week.

Mai Yang was flown to the hospital Monday after being shot in the face in the bedroom of her Vale home. Her father told Channel 9′s Dave Faherty the shooting was an accident, and said his 11-year old son did not know the rifle was loaded.

Since then, Blackburn Elementary School has been collecting donations for the first-grader.

School leaders and the parent teacher organization came up with the idea to raise money by selling yellow shirts that say “Mai Strong.”

By noon Friday, the school had raised more than $2,000.

Family members said Yang has already undergone one surgery and has a long recovery ahead of her. Her principal spoke with Faherty about efforts by the community to help.

“The staff here at Blackburn, it is a family-oriented, community support, and it feels great to know they they’re able to help someone that’s one of our own,” Principal Jessica Minton-Cable said. “We also have two of her siblings here as well, and just helping them as a whole family.”

Investigators on the case said they’ll be meeting with the district attorney about possible charges in connection with access to the rifle. But for now, everyone is hoping Mai Yang makes a full recovery.

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