"It just hit the baby. I didn't see it. I just took the baby and I ran in the kitchen and after that, I don't know. I lost it," Mubarak Ali said recalling the horrifying moment she realized her 1-year-old grandson had been shot in the neck, right in front of her. The grandparents of little Elijah Ali are grateful the boy is doing well, but say they've had enough. They are moving out.
"I seen a hole in his neck and that took me in shock when I seen the hole," Mubarak said. "That's it. After that, I don't remember anything." Mubarak told ABC7 News she fainted after seeing her grandson bleeding. Just seconds before, she had been feeding him in her arms. Fortunately, her daughter-in-law, the child's mother had just gotten off work and was inside the apartment. "He's responsive. He's playing. He's laughing. He's perfectly fine," Elijah's mother Rani Prasad said.
The family had been told it would be a at least a couple of days but much to everyone's surprise, Elijah was released from Oakland Children's Hospital Friday.
On Thursday, Elijah was shot when a stray bullet penetrated the apartment. Police found several bullet casings in a parking lot on MacDonald Avenue across the street from the apartment building. A teenager on his bicycle was also injured. "We do believe that he may have been the intended target of this shooting," said Lt. Bisa French with the Richmond Police Department.
The gunman has not been found.
The apartment is located in Richmond's Iron Triangle neighborhood. "Because of the area, it's definitely a possibility that this might be gang-related," French said. Elijah's grandmother said they will now move out of that neighborhood. The child and his parents live in San Pablo.
"It is a very big wake-up call. I think that it's not just this time around, every time around it should be a wake-up call. And I think that they should be patrolling more and seeing what's going on in their city," Prasad said.
The child's grandfather, Rahamati Ali, was also in the room at the time. "I could've had three or four funerals in that home today but out of his mercy, God has saved us all, even the grandson," he said.
Police have not made any arrests and are asking the public for help. They are urging anyone with information about the shooting to come forward.