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10-year-old girl shot in head in Boyle Heights

A 10-year-old girl was shot in the head Friday in Boyle Heights in what may have been a gang attack targeting someone else, police said.

The shooting occurred about 6 p.m. near the intersection of South Chicago Street and Rogers Avenue, when investigators believe someone opened fire, apparently aiming for a person riding a bicycle, LAPD Officer Mike Lopez said.

The person on the bicycle was not hit, Lopez said. Instead, the gunfire hit a 10-year-old girl who suffered a wound to the back of the head.

The girl was being treated at a hospital. The extent of her injuries was not known, but police said she was in critical condition and may have been grazed by a bullet.

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Capt. Andy Neiman, an LAPD spokesman, said the girl was reportedly “conscious and breathing.”

“The girl was not the intended target,” LAPD Lt. Kristin Hagerty said.

Lopez said police were questioning the intended target of the shooting and were trying to determine whether the attack was gang-related. It was unclear if anyone else had been detained.

The LAPD has redeployed gang officers to the area to “try to track down who was responsible,” Neiman said.

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John Perez, 20, was watching TV in the living room of his home near Rogers Avenue and South Chicago Street when he heard several gunshots outside. He said he peeked through the front door to see if it was fireworks and saw a gray sedan speeding away. He said the car drove past a stop sign.

He said he looked to his left and saw a girl in a white dress lying on the sidewalk near a utility pole. He ran over to check on her. He said the girl had blood spots on her arms and legs.

“I said, ‘Honey, are you OK, are you hurt?’” Perez recalled.

“I don’t know, I can’t feel my skin,” he said the girl told him.

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Perez said neighbors called the police and rushed to help. One neighbor took off his white T-shirt for use as a cushion under the girl’s head.

“When I lifted her head I saw my arm was full of blood,” Perez said, adding that he then used the shirt to put pressure on her wound.

According to Perez, the girl said she had been walking to the store when she was shot and had money in her hand.

Police said the girl was visiting her uncle, who lives a few houses down.

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The man on the bicycle, who was taken to Hollenbeck Station for questioning, told Perez and others that the shooters were aiming at him.

kate.mather@latimes.com

ruben.vives@latimes.com

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UPDATES:

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8:51 p.m: This article was updated with additional details.

This article was originally published at 8:03 p.m.


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