CRAVEN COUNTY, N.C. (CNN) — A 5-year-old girl is fighting for her life after being struck in a suspected gang-related shooting in North Carolina.
Family members say amela brown had two surgeries and doctors have been working to prevent her brain from swelling.
Fragments of glass, still litter Pompano Drive Wednesday, evidence of where 5-year Amela Brown was shot just the night before.
“I just heard the gun – the guy shooting the gun three or four times,” said neighbor Dalton Anderson.
The Craven County Sheriff’s Office says Brown was struck in the head by a bullet while she was inside a car with her mother.
Anderson lives just a few houses down and says he never thought a young child could be on the other end of those shots.
“I thought he was shooting out in the field. And in about 10 minutes I got up and looked, and saw a blue light flashing down there,” Anderson said.
Tuesday’s shooting was the second time that a member of the girl’s family has been targeted.
Brown’s aunt, Jacqueline Hill, says her 14-year old grandson was shot at her home just two weeks ago.
“Obviously we’re concerned for the safety of the individuals in this community, as you said. This, as you said, is not the first incident of firearms in this community,” said Capt. Tony Cummings with the Craven County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Chip Hughes said they do have persons of interest in mind.
Investigators are increasing security, including an ID checkpoint outside of the gracie farms community.
“The main focus is to obtain information. Obviously individuals that live in this neighborhood might not have been home last night, could have been out of town. They may have information that is important to us,” Cummings.
And with everyone affected by the impact to a little girl in the community, investigators say they’re determined to bring justice.
“Especially when it involves a 5-year old child, it’s one that encourages us to work harder. And that’s exactly what we’re doing at this point,” Cummings said.
The Craven County Sheriff believes the incident was gang-related.
Officials are offering $1,000 reward for information in the case.