PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — A two-year-old girl is in “critical but stable condition” after police say she was shot in the face in Petersburg.
Petersburg Police Emergency Communications Center got a call at 9:40 p.m. on Thursday, April 6 about a shooting involving a child on Navajo Court. When officers arrived to Petersburg East Apartment Homes, they found a toddler who was injured.
Police said the girl was shot in the face while in the care of her babysitter.
Police also said there were two adults and another child in the home at the time of the shooting.
However, police haven’t identified a shooter because they still “need the adults that were there to tell us what happened.”
Belinda Baugh, a pastor and community leader in Petersburg, said she went to the scene on Thursday night.
“When I first heard about it, I jumped into my car to go over to the location,” she said. “Tears and cries. That’s what you heard and that’s what you saw.”
She said the area around the apartment building was blocked off with caution tape and emotions were high among the neighbors.
“It was heart-wrenching. Innocent. This child was innocent,” Baugh said. “We’re just reckless with our guns and we need to come up with better gun laws.”
She said the city needs to give families more options for children to stay engaged and out of harm’s way. Baugh herself continues to partner with grassroots and other non profit organizations to provide resources to the community, but she admits it can be difficult.
“I own a daycare center here in the city of Petersburg and one of the things that we offer to our parents is a place called safe haven. It’s a safe place and now we can’t offer that in our community,” she said. “We’re building up, but we’re building around pain.”
Baugh plans to hold a lock-in at her church, New Divine Worship Center, for dozens of kids on Friday night. There will be another lock-in this weekend at the Petersburg Family YMCA.