A bullet fired from outside hit a 12-year-old girl in the head yesterday afternoon as she stood in the living room of her Hempstead Village home, Nassau County police said.
A single shot was fired, piercing a front window, police said. The girl's parents were in a room in the back of the two-story house in the 200 block of Dartmouth Street at the time of the shooting, said Det. Sgt. James Skopek of the Nassau homicide squad.
The victim was taken to Winthrop-University Hospital, where she was in "grave" condition Friday night, Skopek said. No other injuries were reported.
Police said they had no suspects in the shooting and no arrests had been made. The victim's identity wasn't immediately released.
Hempstead police officers were called to the home about 5 p.m. The girl was worked on by first responders at the scene before being rushed to the hospital, Skopek said.
Skopek told reporters he didn't yet know if the home had been targeted, or if it was a gang-related or drive-by shooting. "It is a single shot, we've determined, that came from the street at that location," he said.
Skopek called it "a very horrific situation" and said the girl's family was with her at the hospital.
"Local detectives, Hempstead Village detectives, Nassau police detectives are working feverishly to develop what we can to move on this case," Skopek said.
An official with the administration of Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano said late Friday night that Mangano and acting police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter plan on Saturday to announce a large reward in connection with information leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect.
Joey Bell, a longtime Dartmouth Street resident, lamented the latest eruption of violence in the neighborhood.
"It's messing up the community. Something's gotta give; something's gotta change," Bell said.
Hempstead school board president Lamont Johnson, who visited the neighborhood after the shooting, said he knows the victim's family.
"It's a sad day in Hempstead," he said, adding there's "no excuse" for gun violence, especially when young lives are in peril.
"A young man was killed within the same vicinity of that address a couple years ago," he said. "So it's definitely a problem."
Police sealed off part of the residential block last night as the investigation continued.
At about 8 p.m., a man who identified himself as the girl's grandfather bicycled to the crime scene and broke down into tears. David Joyner of Uniondale said he learned about the shooting after he got off work and went to a store on Westbury Boulevard. He said the owner, who knows him well, told him, "They shot up your son's house."
Joyner said his granddaughter is a loving person with a "beautiful personality." The family's nickname for her is "Chocolate Moon," he said.
Police asked anyone with information about the shooting to call Crime Stoppers at 800-244-TIPS. All tips will be confidential.
With Zachary R. Dowdy,
Ellen Yan and Paul LaRocco