Girl shot in head while on playground

10:29 PM, May 22, 2011   |    comments
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By Courtney Gousman

St. Louis (KSDK) -- A young child was shot in the head Sunday afternoon.  Police say she was caught in the middle of a drug deal gone bad.

It happened just south of downtown, at the Clinton Peabody Housing Complex in the 1400 block of Castle Lane.

Police say they're still looking for the man who fired those shots, right near a playground full of children Sunday.

Investigators say the victim is seven years-old.  She's undergone surgery and is listed in critical condition.

"This is very scary because kids is getting hurt. It shouldn't be this way."

Sunday afternoon's shooting in the Clinton-Peabody Housing Complex is more than disturbing for residents like Brenda Moore.

She's a grandmother, and says she was cooking, when she heard a round of shots.

"I was scared because I know the kids was out. I know the kids go out and they play," said Moore.

Moore and the rest of her neighbors would shudder to learn, a young girl had been shot in the head-- caught in the middle of what police are calling an alleged drug dispute.

Moore says the child was visiting with her grandmother, who lives in the complex.  

Police believe up to five shots were fired just before four this afternoon.

"Tragically that confrontation took place right next to a playground. There were at least 10 children playing on the playground at the time that this happened. One of the children, a little girl, was shot in the head," said Captain Michael Sack of the St. Louis Metro Police Department.

Only one man was armed, and the shooter ran away on foot.

Other kids who witnessed the shooting, tell NewsChannel5, they were playing with water balloons-- when bullets started flying.

When those shots were fired, the children playing on the playground ran to safety at a nearby apartment, but the young lady that got hit, didn't make it inside.

"The woman who was tending to the children, a mother to some, aunt to others, she called to them to get inside and get down, and it was during that time that children were rushing to that residence," said Captain Sack.  

"When you're looking at young people playing on the playground, you should be able to play on the playground, you should be able to play in front of your house without worrying about being shot or hurt," said St. Louis Metro Police Chief Dan Isom,

St. Louis police say witnesses have been cooperative, and investigators are working to identify the man who opened fire.

"It upsets me because it could have been my kids," said Moore.

Police describe the suspect as a man in his fifties.

He allegedly was firing at a young male in his twenties, who apparently owed him money.

The intended target was not hurt.

KSDK

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