BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) _ A 3-year-old girl was wounded in crossfire that broke out between rival gangs as she waited with her mother to cross a street Monday, police said.
The girl was shot in the buttocks just before 5:30 p.m. and was being treated at Yale-New Haven Hospital, police said. Her condition wasn’t immediately released.
The Connecticut Post reported (http://bit.ly/JNQObR) that a man involved in the shooting was taken to Bridgeport Hospital with gunshot wounds.
Police and witnesses told the Post that the girl and her mother were waiting hand-in-hand to cross at the corner of Maplewood Avenue and Poplar Street in the state’s largest city when shots were fired from a car at two men running down the street.
A neighbor, Jose Sanchez Sr., said he heard the gunfire from his upstairs apartment and ran to the street with his 18-year-old son, Jose Sanchez Jr.
Sanchez said he saw the girl lying in the street. “She was amazingly calm, but her mother was hysterical, screaming and crying,” he told the Post.
Jose Sanchez Jr. said he tried to help her until medics arrived.
“She was lying there and bleeding a lot, and somebody yelled for something to stop the bleeding, and I just took off my shirt and pressed it against the wound,” he told the newspaper.
Police said they are looking for a late model gray sedan with four people inside who are believed to have been involved.
Mayor Bill Finch said in a statement Monday night that the shooting “was an abhorrent act, one which displayed the most wanton disregard for the safety and security of our most vulnerable citizens _ our children.”
He called on federal lawmakers to crack down on illegal weapons that find their way into the hands of gangs and urged people to support the police investigation.
Hundreds of Bridgeport residents rallied in January to express their outrage at violence that killed a 14-year-old boy who was walking home with his friends after a birthday party. Twenty homicides were reported in the city in 2011.
Information from: Connecticut Post, http://www.connpost.com
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)