7-year-old child shot playing on sidewalk on Cleveland's east side

7-year-old child shot playing on sidewalk on Cleveland's east side
Evidence markers at the scene. (Source: WOIO)
Evidence markers at the scene. (Source: WOIO)
A 7-year-old was shot by an unknown gunman on E. 92nd St. (Source: Google Maps)
A 7-year-old was shot by an unknown gunman on E. 92nd St. (Source: Google Maps)

Cleveland Police are investigating after a 7-year-old child was shot on the city's east side on Friday night. The shooter is still on the run.

Police say someone in a moving vehicle fired, hitting the boy in the hand near 1338 E. 92nd Street off Superior Avenue just after 9 p.m.

"What did he do? He's a child! How could he be shot?" asks Renetta Young, the victim's mother.

There were about a dozen kids having a water balloon fight and playing at the time of the shooting, many of whom have their names etched in the sidewalk.

Even though East 92nd is a one-way street, witnesses saw two cars driving in the wrong direction just before gunfire.

"They said they think the two cars was shooting at each other, but the front car wasn't shooting backwards," says Ezra Johnson, the boy's father, who waved his hands in the air just like he said the shooters did. "He was shooting like this as they coming down the street, shooting on both sides of the street."

When shots rang out, the boy started running towards his father from across the street. Somewhere in the sprint, he was shot in the hand. But somehow, the 7-year-old was the most calm and collected.

"Everybody was out here panicking. Everybody's crying," Johnson says. "He was the only one standing there. He was like, 'You all, everybody be alright. Calm down. I'm alright. I'm alright. Daddy calm down. I'm alright. Don't freak out.'"

The family has only lived on this street for two years, but will now leave. What they thought was a safe area was shattered by men in cars shooting up the neighborhood, not caring who they may hit.

The boy, along with the rest of the neighborhood, hopes whoever is responsible will come clean.

"They just turn themself in and stop doing this," he said quietly.
 
"'Cause I always tell them my job is to protect them, keep them safe, and I feel like I let them down because of someone else's act," said his mother.

The 7-year-old boy is expected to be okay, after he has surgery to repair his hand.

So far, police have not made any arrests. Anyone with more information is urged to call 216-623-5464.

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