INDIANAPOLIS — It was just a couple minutes before 6 a.m. Tuesday when Candace Cole heard gunfire in the 5300 block of Winterberry Drive on Indianapolis’ northwest side.
”I heard like four or five gunshots, but it sounded very, very close,” she said. ”I went back in my room, and then I heard my neighbor screaming a few minutes later, and she was like, her baby, her baby, and I ran downstairs and opened the door, and she said her baby was shot in the hand.”
A 9-year-old girl was wounded while sleeping in a front upstairs bedroom of the townhouse next door.
The girl’s mother met with us outside of Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital.
“I heard my daughter scream and say, ‘They’re shooting! They’re shooting!’ and the next thing you know, they start screaming, and my daughter says, ‘Mommy, they shot my hand! They shot my hand!’” the mother said. ”The minute she came in my room there was blood everywhere, and I could see on her hand for myself that she had been shot.”
The girl was wounded while in a room with her two younger sisters.
“They missed my children’s head by an inch, literally,” said the girl’s mother, “and the other bullet is still in my daughter’s hand as we speak.”
Surgery scheduled for Wednesday evening is expected to remove that bullet.
The shooting before dawn and the arrival of police officers brought out neighbors in the dark.
”She was just screaming, ‘Who would do this to my baby? Who would do this?’” Coe recalled her neighbor shouting. ”I don’t know why it would happen. It’s just bad.”
The girl’s mother, requesting anonymity because the family knows students enrolled at Pike High School, said she’s seen evidence indicating that the bullets were meant for another unit at the Aspen Chase at Eagle Creek development.
”They just shot the wrong house,” she said, an observation confirmed by police. “Maybe five people know where I live.
”I don’t have conflicts with anybody who would come shoot my house, and anybody I know would know that my children sleep in that room.”
The girl’s neighbor agreed that gunfire has become too commonplace in the community.
“There’s just been a lot of shooting over here,” said Coe. “It’s just very close. We’re ducking, and I’m literally a step away from her, and it didn’t hit me.”
CORRECTION: The originally said the shooting happened on Wintergreen Drive. It has been updated with the correct street name, Winterberry.