CRIME

Makayla Darden, 8, seriously injured in Congress Heights shooting

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(WJLA) - A young girl named Makayla Darden was shot in Southeast Washington on Friday afternoon. Now, police and the family of eight-year-old Makayla are desperately seeking answers.

Photo: Beverly Darden
Photo: Van Applegate/WJLA

"All I know is I want God to protect my baby and get my baby -- let her be okay," sobbed the victim's grandmother, Beverly Darden.

Investigators say that shortly after 3 p.m. on Friday afternoon, officers responded to a report of gunfire at the Wheeler Terrace apartments in D.C. 's Congress Heights neighborhood.

"There were kids outside at the time of the sounds of gunshots," said D.C. Police Assistant Chief Alfred Durham.

Family members say Makayla was walking home from an aunt’s house through a courtyard when she was suddenly shot in the shoulder.

"The guys were out here shooting at someone, and the bullet just so happened to hit her -- they ran," said Beverly Darden.

Police are now hoping surveillance video will catch the shooter, but they suspect several people may have been involved.

"The security guard observed a group fleeing from the scene; again, we don't know who the shooter was, what kind of weapon was used..." said Asst. Chief Durham.

But residents here are visibly angry.

"Anybody's a target out here," said neighbor Lakisha Washington.

Neighbors say a metal fence was installed years ago to prevent gun violence on the property, but somehow, troublemakers are apparently able to slip by the single security guard on duty.

"This has made a little progress, but not enough progress for us to be safe in our own homes," said Lakisha.

Meanwhile, there are prayers for the little girl, and her family hopes to eventually see that surveillance video.

"I see who it is on the video, and I know you, I'm telling [them] who you are. That's my grandbaby," said Beverly Darden.

Police say the girl was transported in life-threatening condition. According to her grandmother, she was breathing on her own and was taken into surgery at Children's National Medical Center. 

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