A two-year-old girl is fighting for her life in intensive care after she was mysteriously shot by a stray bullet while playing on a backyard slide.
Police say Ariel Salaices was playing with her two older brothers on a backyard playground set when she was shot in the back of the head by a stray bullet on Thursday, ABC News reported.
The toddler’s father drove her from the family home in Mountain City, Tennessee, US, to a medical centre before she was flown to a children’s hospital in Knoxville.
The little girl remains in critical condition on life support, her aunt Stephanie Brown told ABC News.
Ariel’s family are begging for answers as investigators are trying to figure out where the errant shot came from.
While there is a gun range close to the family’s home, investigators reportedly do not believe the bullet came from there.
“I just have to say that even if it was an accident, I know [the shooter] will have to know what happened. It’s been all over the news. They really need to come forward,” Ms Brown said.
Johnson County Sheriff Edward Tester told WCYB-TV the incident was an example of how dangerous it is for someone to be shooting guns in suburban areas.
“If you’re using a firearm and doing target practice or hunting, make sure you’re looking beyond where you’re shooting. Because that bullet may not stop where you want it to,” Sheriff Tester said.
The little girl has undergone several surgeries, including one to remove part of her skull to relieve the pressure on her brain, according to a GoFundMe page set up to support the family.
“She [Ariel] has already proved she’s so strong and we have many plans for that little girl, so we have plenty of faith that the Lord is going to work in his way,” the family wrote on a GoFundMe page to support Ariel.
“Ariel is a very spunky little girl. She’s sassy and she’s full of life. She’s definitely not one who wants to sit still,” Ms Brown told ABC News.
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