Someone fired gunshots in the air amid Fourth of July celebrations in D.C. Wednesday night, injuring an 11-year-old girl, police say.
The girl was playing in an alley on 46th Place SE when a suspect started firing a weapon, according to a police report. People were setting off fireworks at the same time, the report said. The girl told police she was struck in the face with an unknown object and the suspect then ran off.
"She was enjoying herself with family and friends and she was struck by a bullet," Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Chief of Patrol Services South Chanel Dickerson told reporters on Thursday.
Officers who arrived to the scene found the girl's injuries were consistant with gunshot wounds and they found 37 shell casings, the police report said.
"What goes up must come down, so that's the same with a bullet from a firearm," Dickerson said.
Medics took the girl to a local hospital. Her injuries are not life-threatening police said.
Dickerson said multiple people negligently fired guns throughout the city Wednesday night.
"They decided they wanted to celebrate the Fourth of July by discharging a firearm on public space, injuring multiple people," she said.
It was not clear how many others were hurt by the gunfire, but police said no one had life-threatening injuries.
D.C. police and fire officials said several people were also injured Wednesday night from illegal fireworks. Authorities shut down an illegal fireworks display on 13th Street NW and confiscated more than 45,000 pieces of illegal fireworks in the 6th District alone, Dickerson said.
Police handed the fireworks over to D.C. Fire and EMS on Thursday for the department to destroy.