EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A family member of an 8-year-old girl who was shot in the head in East Cleveland on Sunday night is speaking out, and pleading for justice.
After spending time with her family Sunday, Michelle Jacobs says she called to check-in with her family Monday morning.
“Yeah, to see how father’s day went and stuff,” she said. “And, I find out my great niece is in ICU.”
She wants this to serve as a lesson to others thinking of using an illegal weapon.
“Never do this again,” she said. “There are so many babies over here and over there.”
She wants the suspect to come forward, but she is more focused tonight on her niece making any sort of progress possible at the hospital.
“It’s about her, not what they did,” she said.
The girl, who’s name has not been released publicly, is in critical condition at University Hospitals, according to East Cleveland police.
In a news release Monday morning, police said they have positively identified the suspect as a 17-year-old male, but as of 5:45 p.m. Monday, they said no arrests have been made.
“We as a community have got to do better. We have got to ring our young people in, we have got to give them activities to do, we have to give them positive role models,” said community activist Angela Davis.
The shooting occurred in the 1800 block of Forest Hills Boulevard; police were seen Sunday night investigating near a grassy field beside an apartment complex.
Witnesses previously told 19 News that they saw a white vehicle speeding away from the scene Sunday night, leading them to believe it was a drive-by shooting.
“If you have an issue with someone, if there are kids around, push your issue aside,” Davis said. “Just because you’re in a fit of rage right then, you don’t shoot because as we can see, you’re probably not going to shoot the person you’re trying to shoot. You’re probably going to shoot an innocent bystander.”
Neighbors seemed to have difficulty grasping the situation.
“It’s a shame that had to take place. These kids around here are just having a nice time,” one woman told 19 News as she entered her apartment. “Where do we go next? I don’t know. Something ought to be done,” she said.
“We can’t continue to lose our future generation,” Davis added.
Anyone with information about the incident, or anyone who happened to be in the area around 8:30 p.m. Sunday night is asked to call East Cleveland police. Tips can be left anonymously, and a reward of up to $2,500 could be given in exchange for information leading to an arrest.