The victim was just 4 years old. The crime was something no one should have to endure, regardless of age. The outcome may be remarkably good.
Thursday night, a 4-year-old Riverside County boy was recovering from a gunshot wound to the head. Deputies said he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, a victim of gang crossfire in a neighborhood that has seen too much gang violence.
The victim, identified by his sister at Akei Woods, was rushed to Riverside County Regional Medical Center with a graze wound to the back of his head.
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His older sister, Kaloni Woods, said the youngsters were playing outside their home in the 1500 block of Wilson Avenue in Perris when the shooting began.
The girl claims a car drove by and some people visiting her home feared they were about to be attacked, so they shot at the car.
“A car drove by fast and they thought it was gonna shoot up the house," said Woods. "So they started shooting at the car and I grabbed the baby and ran inside and the bullet grazed him in the head.”
“I was shocked," she continued. "I thought he got shot in the head and was going to die. I thought the worst.”
An ice cream truck was passing by at the time. The driver said he had to pull over and hide. Dozens of other people also ran as the bullets flew.
“It don’t make no sense," said neighbor Beverly Gibbons. "I’m scared. Kids play in this neighborhood. It could have been my child.”
Riverside County investigators say the area is known for gang violence.
“This is possibly a gang related shooting," said Corp. Courtney Donowho. "The two shooters were shooting at each other in the street of this residential neighborhood and the child was struck by a stray bullet.”
The family of the little boy fears the shooting will trigger an all-out gang war. So they packed up their belongings and planned to leave town.
“My cousins that live here plan to move," said Khalia Jackson, the vicitm's cousin. "They’re not going to be at this house anymore.”