A 7-year-old girl is in a coma after she and her pregnant mother were shot inside their Port Hueneme home in what police believe was a targeted attack late Tuesday night.
The shooting occurred about 10:13 p.m. in the 100 block of East Pearl Street, Port Hueneme Police Chief Andrew Salinas said.
Possibly due to the number of fireworks going off in the area, a response to the shooting was delayed so the girl's father took action, Salinas said.
“The father physically picked up the child and ran to the fire station down the street,“ Salinas said. “Unfortunately, the fire department was unresponsive and did not come out,” he said.
Firefighters may have felt they were threatened or may have thought there was still gunfire going on outside the fire station, Salinas said.
Police responded to the fire station after the mother made what was described as a frantic call to report her daughter had been shot.
Officers provided assistance to the mother and the girl and then drove the 7-year-old to the Ventura County Medical Center in a police unit, Salinas said.
The girl was eventually transported to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where she remained in a coma in critical condition, Salinas said.
“This is heartbreaking. This is not something that typically occurs in our city,” he said.
The mother, who is pregnant and was shot twice during the incident, was in stable condition at the Medical Center, Salinas said.
A total of five people, described as three children and their parents, were inside the home at the time of the shooting.
Somebody within the residence was believed to be the intended target, Salinas said.
The mother and daughter who were struck happened to be in the living room at the time of the shooting.
The Ventura County Fire Department later made a statement about their response to the incident:
“We are deeply saddened by the tragic shooting that occurred overnight in Port Hueneme near our fire station. We are investigating the circumstances surrounding the emergency response and medical services rendered to the mother and daughter following the shooting. VCFD is talking with firefighters and local authorities to determine the facts,” the statement read.
Investigators do not believe the shooting was gang related and think there may have been more than one gunman because rounds from at least two different weapons were found at the scene.
It was unclear if the shooter or shooters escaped on foot or were in a car.
The motive for the shooting was unclear but investigators believe it may have started with a personal dispute.
Family members have been cooperative and were providing information to investigators, Salinas said.
Authorities are attempting to locate more witnesses or surveillance video that may show the shooting.
Anyone with information was asked to call the Police Department at 805-986-6530.