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6-year-old girl shot in South L.A. remains hospitalized

Police say they have no suspects or motive in the shooting of Ivy Hernandez, who was hit while playing video games inside her grandfather's house.

February 01, 2009|Rich Connell and Susannah Rosenblatt

A 6-year-old girl remained hospitalized late Saturday after being struck by gunfire while playing video games in her grandfather's South Los Angeles home.

First-grader Ivy Hernandez was hit in the back Friday by one of about a dozen bullets fired at the home in the 900 block of East 22nd Street. Ivy, a 5-year-old cousin and a 16-year-old aunt were inches away from a door when it was pierced by bullets, relatives said.

The other girls escaped injury, but Ivy staggered into another room, telling relatives, "Look, I'm bleeding," said her aunt Martha Hernandez, 25, who was helping clean up the home Saturday. "She was fainting because she was losing a lot of blood."

The girl is expected to survive, police said.

The gunfire erupted about 9:30 p.m., and bullets shattered the front-door glass, lodged in outside stucco and ripped holes in interior walls and doors.

Family members said they knew of no motive for the shooting. "It's a cowardly thing to do," Hernandez said. "A drive-by when a family stays right here."

"I live in South-Central. This is happening every day," said Ivy's grandfather, Jose Hernandez, 48. "If it's not this block, it's the one before or after. The police, they have to do something."

Jose Hernandez and his wife were attending a memorial service for a friend at the time of the attack and returned shortly afterward.

"Right now we don't have any information about suspects or motive," said Los Angeles Police Department Lt. Faryl Fletcher, watch commander at the Newton Division station. Investigators did not know how many assailants were involved or whether they were in a vehicle or on foot, Fletcher said.

Police believe the shooting could be gang-related, said Sgt. Dan Eun. "The house was definitely a target," he said.

With no clear leads, police ask anyone with information to call 1-877-LAPD-247.

Ivy's father, a 27-year-old security guard, was in the house when his daughter was shot, relatives said. He and Ivy's mother, a waitress, remained with their daughter at the hospital Saturday evening, Martha Hernandez said. Officials said the girl was stable, but relatives said that blood had to be pumped from her lungs and that the bullet had not been removed.

"It's crazy out here," said Miguel Hernandez, Ivy's uncle, as he replaced a bullet-riddled steel security door on the front of the home.

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rich.connell@latimes.com

susannah.rosenblatt @latimes.com

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