SOUTH SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sacramento County Sheriff’s detectives are scouring a South Sacramento home after a three-year-old girl was shot inside.
It happened Tuesday night, off Power Inn Road and 68th Avenue, and the girl is in critical condition. Deputies say the toddler was driven to the hospital in a family car before the shooting was reported.
The Sheriff’s Department has identified the toddler as Azalya. She has reportedly undergone treatment but remains in critical condition and is unresponsive.
The troubled neighborhood is now at the center of attention.
“I know these people. They are nice. But a three-year-old? Doesn’t deserve to get shot,” said one neighbor.
The neighbor says the family living in the home has been quiet and usually keeps to themselves.
“The little girl was always happy and playing, hopefully, she’ll be ok,” the neighbor said.
Sacramento County Sheriff’s detectives believe the little girl was inside during the shooting when shots were fired from the outside near the street. According to officials, witnesses reported hearing a vehicle leave the scene at a high rate of speed.
“The call initially came in as a drive-by shooting, we are not 100-percent not going with that yet we are looking at all aspects, making sure we get all information,” said Sgt. Shaun Hampton.
The area between Power Inn Road and 68th Avenue has been a problem for law enforcement, for years.
“We took an aggressive stance, we moved in with our POP team working with the residents, tenants, and landlords to change the area,” Hampton added.
He says deputies targeted crime and blight, and the neighborhood continues to be a focus for the sheriff’s department.
“Just last week we had a ‘Unity in the Community’ event, less than a mile away, where we brought the community in to bridge that gap,” Hampton said.
Efforts to improve the area are also being made by Sacramento County officials.
Supervisor Patrick Kennedy told CBS13 “we are investing heavily on infrastructure to make it safer for the community, including new LED security street lighting, new sidewalks, and road improvements to slow traffic down.”
A neighborhood in progress is now taking steps back, while detectives try to piece together how the little girl got caught in the line of fire.
“We are not gonna back down now, especially with this occurring in our neighborhood,” Hampton said.
Detectives are now relying on the community for any information leading to an arrest. In a press release, the department noted that “it has been a challenge obtaining information related to who is responsible for the shooting.”
Detectives are asking anyone with information relating to this incident, to please contact the Sheriff’s Department at (916) 874-5115 or Sacramento Valley Crime Stoppers at (916) 443-HELP. Tip information may be left anonymously at www.sacsheriff.com or by calling (916) 874-TIPS (8477).