A 9-year-old girl was shot in the chest last night while walking toward a church snowball stand in the 2400 block of E. Madison St., police said.
Lakia Bradford, of the 700 block of N. Luzerne Ave., was listed in critical but stable condition today in the pediatric intensive-care unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Last night's incident is the second shooting this month where a young girl has been struck by an errant bullet. Tiffany Smith, 6, was killed July 9 during a shoot-out between two men as she played in the Walbrook section of West Baltimore.
Police spokesman Dennis Hill said Lakia and her older sister, Latrice, 11, were walking toward the Evans Temple Church snowball stand around 8:30 p.m. when she suddenly felt a sharp pain in her chest and fell to the pavement.
The older girl heard what sounded like a gunshot, but did not see anyone fire a weapon, Hill said.
Thinking she was stung by a bee, police said, the wounded girl and her sister walked about a half-block to their home and reported the incident to their mother, Jennifer Queen, 36.
Police said the mother lifted Lakia's shirt and found what appeared to be a small-caliber bullet wound to the upper right chest. She then took her daughter to Hopkins hospital.
Residents said shootings occur in the area, but not often.
"The last time I remember a shooting was at least almost a year ago," said Terrence Godwin, 26, who lives with his young son and girlfriend on Luzerne Avenue. "There are problems with drugs, not shooting. I know that there are guns around, but they don't get used much."
Police said the investigation would continue to determine if the bullet that hit the girl was a stray shot or intended for someone else.