Los Angeles police are investigating on Saturday after 3-year-old girl was shot in the face in a drive-by shooting in the South Los Angeles area.
Officers were called to a strip mall in the 2400 block of Figueroa Street around 4:30 p.m. There, they found the child suffering from a gunshot wound.
The shooting occurred more than a mile and a half way, in front of a home at the corner of 39th Street and Walton Avenue in Exposition Park. Ten to 15 people were gathered in the home's front yard when a car pulled up, according to Los Angeles Police Department Capt. Darnell Davenport.
A passenger jumped out of the newer model, gray vehicle and opened fire at the crowd, firing multiple rounds, Davenport said.
One bullet pierced a window and struck the little girl in the face. She was inside the home at the time.
A neighbor said she heard the sound of gunfire and saw the child's mother become "hysterical."
"I heard the gunshots and then everybody scattered on the porch," said neighbor Dana Kennedy. "Then the mom said, 'My baby's hit, my baby's hit.'"
The little girl's aunt, mother and other family members did not want to wait for an ambulance and got into a car with the child to transport her to the hospital, according to Davenport.
The group eventually stopped the car at the strip mall and called police. Paramedics arrived and took the little girl to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where was reported to be in stable condition.
Officers detained and questioned the aunt and two men before releasing them a short time later.
Officers said the shooting is being treated as gang violence.
"There's a lot of gangs in this particular area and most drive-by shootings are considered, by definition, gang related," said Davenport.
The shooter is described as a Hispanic man.