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Aunt of Palmdale girl on life support: 'I believe in miracles'

September 05, 2013|By Angel Jennings and Richard Winton
  • A memorial has started at the home of a 7-year-old Palmdale girl who was shot Wednesday morning and has since been placed on life support.
A memorial has started at the home of a 7-year-old Palmdale girl who was shot… (Angel Jennings / Los Angeles…)

Doctors have given the family of the 7-year-old girl caught in a car-to-car shooting in Palmdale "little to no hope" of recovery, said the girl's aunt.

Desirae Macias was put on life support Wednesday and listed as brain dead after she was shot in the back of the head while riding in the backseat of a car. Family members, meanwhile, are surrounding her at a hospital and praying for a miracle.

Rose Galvan, the girl's aunt, said that doctors are planning to perform a brain scan to re-examine her brain activity.  But the doctors have already prepared the family to expect the worst.

"The thing is, they have to disconnect her from the machines to so this," Galvan said.  "So there's little to no hope because anything can happen in the process."

But Galvan remains hopeful.

"I believe in miracles," she added.

On Thursday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department released the names of three men arrested in connection with the shooting.  Jesus Peralta, 22, and Carlos Peralta, 19, both from Palmdale and Eduardo Diaz of Little Rock were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. 

Authorities said the men chased a car carrying Desirae and her family after a verbal altercation at a Mobil gas station.

The family tried to evade the suspected gunmen as they shot at their vehicle. When they arrived at their home, they discovered Desirae had been shot. A bullet had ricocheted off the taillight and went through the backseat before hitting Desirae, police told Galvan. 

The second-grader was in the backseat shielding herself when the bullet struck the back of her head, Galvan said.

Desirae's mother, who is studying to be a medical assistant, performed CPR while neighbors called police.  Dried blood still stains the sidewalk where Desirae laid. A makeshift memorial was erected around the spot.

A sign left by classmates at her elementary school read, "Buena Vista is praying for you."

John Severin stopped by Thursday morning to add a tiny stuffed teddy bear to the growing memorial. He saw the little girl and her five siblings often cheerfully playing in the yard.  But Thursday it was eerily quiet.

"It's just sad," Severin said.  "Here I am, 45 years old, and have seen a lot.  She's just 7 years old.  God bless her."

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angel.jennings@latimes.com

Twitter: LATangel

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