Girl shot at neighborhood back-to-school party; police searching for suspect

CLEVELAND - A 7-year-old girl is home recovering after being shot in the back during a neighborhood back-to-school party Saturday night.

Her mother, who asked not to be identified, said the shooting happened shortly after 10 p.m. on Miles Avenue.

"We weren't going to go, but the kids saw it on the way home from the grocery store," the mother told the FOX 8 I-Team Monday. "There were games for kids and free food. There were lots of kids there. I thought we were safe."

Just as they were getting ready to go the shooting happened.

The young girl told her mother she saw two or three men walking by and heard gunshots. She started running and got pushed down by others that were also running away.

"I could hear the shooting and I started looking for my children, I saw their shoes but they weren't in them," the mother said. "I then heard her screaming to help her."

The mother said people were calling for an ambulance but she didn't want to wait. She and a relative drove the girl to the hospital. After they got to the emergency room it was discovered one bullet was near her lung.

"Because where it is located they don't want to take it out," the mother said.

Cleveland Police Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia says no arrests have been made yet, and police are asking anyone with information to call.

"This is a young child that got hurt," Ciaccia said. "This is a great opportunity for 'See Something, Say Something.' We know that in neighborhoods people talk about these incidents occur and sometimes you think you don't have information that is 100 percent concrete but we are asking if you have any information to call our Fourth District detective bureau 216-623-5418."

Those with information can also call Crimestoppers of Cuyahoga County at 216-252-7463.

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