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Girl shot in ankle in the Hill District, police seek male wearing black

Madasyn Czebiniak
| Friday, Oct. 21, 2016, 4:21 p.m.
Pittsburgh police investigate the shooting of a 9-year-old girl that occurred in a courtyard at the Bedford Dwellings Housing Complex in the Hill District on Friday, Oct. 21, 2016. The girl was taken to Children’s Hospital in stable condition. She was shot in the ankle.
WPXI
Pittsburgh police investigate the shooting of a 9-year-old girl that occurred in a courtyard at the Bedford Dwellings Housing Complex in the Hill District on Friday, Oct. 21, 2016. The girl was taken to Children’s Hospital in stable condition. She was shot in the ankle.

Marion Henderson Jr. was at home eating a sandwich when he heard the screams.

They were coming from a 9-year-old girl. She had been shot in the ankle in a spray of gunfire that erupted in a courtyard at the Bedford Dwellings housing complex in the Hill District about 3:30 p.m. Friday.

Henderson ran outside to see a man applying pressure to the child's ankle, and went back inside to grab a towel to put on the wound. He stayed with the man and the child until paramedics arrived to take the girl to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

Police later determined that the child, who was taken to the hospital in stable condition, was not the intended target, and that it was too early to determine who or what was.

"It's unfortunate when anybody gets shot like this," said Public Safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler. "We do have concerns about innocent victims, but it's outrageous at any time."

The incident occurred between Buildings 22 and 23 in the 2400 block of the complex. After being struck, the girl ran from the scene and collapsed in front of Building 23, where paramedics picked her up.

Henderson said the girl had a backpack and looked as though she had come from school. "I was shocked," said Henderson, 57, "The kid, just coming from school, innocent, not doing nothing, going about their business. Least thing you expect."

Police found at least 8 shell casings at the scene. Henderson said he heard up to five gunshots.

He said the shooting could have happened to anyone and he is concerned for other people in the area.

"It's kind of tragic," he said.

Police did not have a detailed description of the suspect, who they say ran from the scene. They describe him as a black man wearing "a black tassel hat, a black hooded sweatshirt and dark pants."

The Group Violence Intervention Unit is investigating, Toler said.

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