ATLANTA -- A 9-year-old girl struck by a stray bullet during an apparent drive-by shooting is expected to recover, family members said.
The child was cleaning her dolls in a unit of the Hidden Villages apartments on Landrum Drive SW Tuesday night when her apartment unit was sprayed with bullets,
Wayne Mason said he lost count after trying to see how many gunshots were fired into the apartment.
“Next thing I know we heard these pops," Mason said. "At first we thought it was some kids of some firecrackers."
The bullets shattered a patio window, went through a closet and several walls before striking Mason's great neice, Kyndall Smith, in her left shoulder. The bullet exited her chest.
“She was cleaning up her toys," Mason said. "Taking them to the back.”
Mason said that Kyndall held on to her toys as her family feared the worst.
“It’s heartbreaking," said her mother, Whitney Smith. "Words can’t express how this situation feels. She didn’t deserve that. She’s a 9-year-old innocent little girl. That had nothing to do with whatever that went on.”
Whitney Smith said her daughter is a fighter and she's working through the painful recovery. It's not known how long the girl will have to stay in the hospital, but she'll have to start physical therapy soon.
A GoFundMe page has been created to help the family deal with medical expenses. Click here for details on how to donate.
The girl is a fourth-grader at Kimberly Elementary School. The school's principal and her teachers paid a visit to her in the hospital on Wednesday.
In all, two units were sprayed with a "large number" of bullets from the gunfire, according got Atlanta Police Lt. Greg Lyon. Six people were in the home with Smith.
“That was just senseless," Mason said. "Things that you do in the streets should stay in the streets. You don’t bring it to people’s homes. Everybody here pretty much has kids.”
While Lyon said it appears that many of the bullets hit the upper unit, it's too early to tell what exactly was was the intended target.
No suspects have been caught.