17-year-old Indianapolis girl shot in face while sleeping

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INDIANAPOLIS (March 22, 2016) – An Indianapolis teen is in the hospital after being shot in the face as she slept early Tuesday morning.

Officers were called to the 3500 block of North Illinois Street shortly after 4:30 a.m. on reports of shots fired. When they arrived on scene, officers say they found a woman suffering from a gunshot wound to the face.

Police say a 17-year-old girl was asleep in an upstairs room when shots were fired up through the back wall of the house from outside.

The victim was awake and breathing when transported to IU Methodist Hospital. At last check, she was listed in critical, but stable condition. Her injuries were not thought to be life threatening.

It is not known if the 17-year-old was the intended target of the shooting.

According to officers, shell casings were found in an alley at the back of the house. Investigators say they believe the shots were fired from an assault-style rifle based on preliminary evidence gathered at the scene.

Multiple bullet holes could be seen on a back wall of the house, just below a second floor window.

“Our detectives are working through evidence that they collected at the scene,” said IMPD Sgt. Catherine Cummings.  “They’re looking for any witnesses, they will track down those witnesses and conduct interviews.”

An IMPD incident report indicates officers interviewed several people at the home following the shooting. Those interviews included the 17-year-old victim’s parents, a 22-year-old woman, a 19-year-old woman, two 15-year-olds and three 13-year-olds. It’s not clear if any of the people who were interviewed witnessed the shooting or knew anything about it.

“To see what may be behind this, what may have caused it,” Cummings said. “If she was the target, if she was not the target. That’s all things that will be flushed out in the investigation.”

Detectives were hoping to learn if the shooting was a random crime, or part of some ongoing dispute involving anyone in the house.

Hours after the shooting, Ten Point Coalition member Wallace Nash paid a visit to the house to see the damage.

“I walked this very street last week,” Nash said. “The police sent us down here, there was a lot of tension down here and we came down here.”

But Nash also had another reason for visiting the house.

“25, 30 years ago I lived in this very house,” Nash said. “I used to own it, but I sold it.”

Nash said he felt sad to see his old house riddled with bullet holes, and he felt even worse about the violence the bullet holes represent.

“I plead to the kids to stop, slow down,” Nash said. “Think about what you’re doing. You’re taking out your own selves. Stop.”

Anyone with information about this shooting is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS (8477).

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