(OAKLAND, Calif.) — A 6-year-old girl is recovering from a gunshot wound to the head after she was struck by a stranger’s stray bullet as the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve, according to authorities.
Police in Oakland, California, told ABC News that the child was playing in the back yard of her home during a family New Year party when she was shot.
Neighbors told ABC Bay Area affiliate KGO-TV that children at the party were counting down to the New Year when suddenly they heard gun shots, and the 6-year-old girl fell to the ground crying and bleeding from her head. Her parents were unaware she had been shot until they got to the hospital, according to KGO-TV.
Due to the injury to the child and evidence observed at the scene, Oakland police told ABC News they believed the child was struck by celebratory gun fire.
During a press conference on Jan. 1, police officer Johnna Watson said that the wound is “consistent with something that may come from…an angle of something falling.”
A stray bullet also hit a car parked outside the party, according to police.
Watson told ABC News that Oakland police will not be releasing the girl’s name, but she remains in stable condition.
The bullet remains in the girl’s head, according KGO-TV.
Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick visited the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital to check up on the young girl.
“An innocent child was affected and harmed by this,” said Kirkpatrick at press conference on Jan. 1. “Put the guns down, do not come to Oakland with your guns.”
An investigation into the incident is ongoing and police are offering a $5,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest.
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