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California

7-year-old girl in coma after shooting; fire department didn’t offer immediate help, police say

A 7-year-old girl was listed in critical condition following a shooting that also wounded her mother late Tuesday in Port Hueneme in Ventura County, authorities said.

A 7-year-old girl is in a coma after two gunmen opened fire on her family’s home, striking her in the head and wounding her pregnant mother late Tuesday in Port Hueneme, authorities said Wednesday.

Police received a frantic call about 10:15 p.m. from a woman who reported that she and her daughter had been shot while they were in their living room in the 100 block of Pearl Street of Port Hueneme, in Ventura County. After the gunfire stopped, the girl’s father picked her up and ran to a fire station.

But once there, Port Hueneme Police Chief Andrew Salinas said immediate help was not offered.

“Unfortunately, the Fire Department was unresponsive and did not come out,” Salinas said.

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Salinas told KTLA-TV Channel 5 that firefighters may have refrained from going outside because they believed gunfire was ongoing and felt threatened.

The girl’s mother, who was shot twice, also was taken to a hospital and is listed in stable condition, Salinas said.

Police said officers found multiple shell casings from two different caliber firearms along the street and bullet holes in the family’s home.

“It does not appear it was a random incident,” Salinas said. “Someone inside the residence was a target.”

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He added that the shooting was likely the escalation of some sort of personal dispute between the shooters and an individual in the home.

Despite numerous gunshots apparently being fired in what is typically a quiet neighborhood, authorities said they received no reports of gunfire from the public.

Salinas said neighbors were likely under the impression that the gunshots were illegal fireworks, which are frequently set off in the area.

“We normally would get numerous calls for service for shots fired, but unfortunately due to the fireworks in this neighborhood, it made it very difficult to determine if it were actual fireworks or shots being fired in the neighborhood, which we believe actually delayed the response to this call,” he said.

A description of the shooters was not available, and no arrests have been made. Anyone with information about the shooting is being asked to call the Port Hueneme Police Department at (805) 986-6530.

Times staff writer Colleen Shalby contributed to this report.

hannah.fry@latimes.com

Twitter: @Hannahnfry

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