COLUMBUS (WCMH) —
A three-year-old girl and eight-year-old boy shot on the east side Wednesday afternoon are brother and sister. They were hit playing outside their apartment complex, the Mayfair Apartments, just after 4 p.m.
As of Wednesday night, Columbus Police said the girl was in stable condition, but the boy was fighting for his life at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The boys aunt told NBC4 he had surgery Wednesday afternoon.
Police said the children were innocent victims, caught in the crossfire, as two people shot back and forth.
“We believe there was a gun exchange between several individuals and the children were hit in the crossfire,” said Sgt. Stan Latta with the Columbus Police Department.
Stephanie Huhn, who lives across the street, didn’t realize at first what she was hearing were gunshots.
“I was up in my room and I thought it was just fireworks, like the big boom sound fireworks, and then the police started showing up,” said Huhn.
NBC4 spoke with another neighbor who didn’t want to be identified, afraid of retaliation.
“It happens all the time out here, drive-by shootings, and people shooting, and it seems they always get away with it. Nobody ever gets caught,” said the man.
Police said the little girl will be okay, but the boy’s life is in danger.
“We don’t know at this point whether they’re going to make it or not make it so we’re treating it as a potential homicide,” said Sgt. Latta.
Huhn can’t imagine who could hurt a child.
“Not little kids, come on have a heart,” she said.
Police said they were looking for a suspect who shot from a car but would not release any additional information.