What to Know
- A man has been charged with shooting a 7-year-old girl Friday night in Southeast D.C.
- The child hit by a stray bullet was in fair condition as of Monday.
- The father of the child hit on Knox Place SE is credited with saving her life.
A D.C. man has been charged with shooting a 7-year-old girl walking with her family Friday night in Southeast D.C.
Michael Wiggins, 27, of Southwest D.C., was arrested and charged with the crime, Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Chief Peter Newsham said.
The child was hit by a stray bullet as she walked with her parents and brother after 9 p.m. Friday on the 2900 block of Knox Place SE.
"The only thing she was doing was walking on a Friday evening in her neighborhood with her family," Newsham said at a news conference Monday morning.
The child was shot in the stomach. Her family hurried into the relative safety of a nearby building, a neighbor said, describing the frantic scene.
"First thing I could think of was, call 911 and get a towel. Try to stop some bleeding," the woman said, asking not to be identified. "Then, grab the little boy because he already saw too much."
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The little girl's father helped stem the bleeding, Newsham said.
"In all likelihood, he saved her life," he said.
The girl, who police did not identify, was airlifted to a hospital. She was in critical condition Friday night and was upgraded to fair condition, Newsham said.
Wiggins is believed to have fired during a clash in the neighborhood.
"You had a violent offender with an illegal firearm who was brazen enough to cause an injury to a little girl," Newsham said Monday morning.
The assistant police chief thanked community members for submitting tips that led to an arrest.
"I can't underestimate the help we got from the community in this case," Newsham said Monday afternoon, before D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser prayed with residents.
A woman who lived in the area, who asked not to be named, said she worries about her family's safety.
"I fear for my life and my kids. My kids don't even want to come outside no more," she said.