2-year-old Vallejo girl shot while sleeping

June 5, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
In the North Bay, a two-and-a-half-year-old girl sleeping in her own bed was shot by a stray bullet. It happened, early this morning, in Vallejo.

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Two-and -a-half-year-old Yesenia Vasquez was asleep in her parents' bed when gunshots burst though the walls of her Vallejo home, just before 3 a.m.

Yesenia was hit in the abdomen and underwent surgery this morning at Children's Hospital Oakland. According to Yesenia's father, Rafael Vasquez, she is in serious, but stable condition in intensive care. Earlier she had her intestines operated on, but the bullet has not yet been removed since it traveled through her stomach and is lodged near her back.

Vasquez told ABC7 he was worried something like this might happen because the house was once occupied just a few months ago by a drug dealer who was a prior resident.

Vasquez said when the shots rang out, he grabbed Yesenia and shouted, "They hit my baby. They hit my baby."

"How's she doing?" asked ABC7's Laura Anthony.

"She's doing all right, but her legs, she can't move them that much," said Yaquoline Cervantes, Yesenia's sister.

Police say they do not think Yesenia's family was the intended target of the shooter, but that the house they are renting certainly was.

"We don't believe the family was specifically targeted. We believe this to be a case of mistaken identity on the part of the suspects," says Vallejo Police Lt. Lee Horton.

"Was the suspect on foot?" asked ABC7's Laura Anthony.

"That, we can't confirm. They may have been in a vehicle," says Lt. Horton.

"Whoever did it was shooting from right here," said neighbor Michael Winston who says he heard the gunfire from his bedroom. "It was like nine shots, you heard 'Pop, pop,pop,pop,pop.' There was no car, there was no nothing. All I heard were feet running."

The girl's family has lived here only about six months. Family members told ABC7 Yesenia has three older sisters and her mother is seven months pregnant with a baby boy. No one else was hurt in the shooting. Police say they do have several leads.

"Our detectives are working very hard on this case. They've be on it all day and into the night I'm sure," said Lt. Horton.

"I've been living here four months and the last four months I've seen like five police activities within 50 yards of right here," said Winston who told ABC7 he's thinking of moving.

Vasquez also said he's planning to move once his daughter is out of the hospital, but the immediate concern right now is for her health. They are monitoring her condition and trying to see if she can move her legs. Vasquez told ABC7 she can move one pretty well, but they're waiting to see if she can move her other and that young Yesenia probably faces more surgery.

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