9-Year-Old Girl Hit by Stray Bullet After Car-to-Car Shooting Near Oxnard School

Local News

A 9-year-old girl was hit by a stray bullet after a car-to-car shooting near an Oxnard elementary school Thursday, police said.

The shooting was reported about 11 a.m. near Christa McAuliffe Elementary School, located at 3300 Via Marina Ave.

Fourth and fifth grade students were at recess when the shooting broke out behind the school, Oxnard police said.

The girl was struck in a lower extremity while on the playground and then taken into a nearby classroom. She was subsequently taken to a hospital, where she was in stable condition Thursday night, officers said.

Police had earlier described the victim as being 10 years old. The child’s parents were notified about the incident by the Oxnard School District.

No other injuries were reported in the shooting.

“All other students have been accounted for and are safe,” police said in a tweet.

Investigators described the car-to-car shooting as an isolated incident, but no arrests have been made.

Witnesses told authorities they saw two vehicles driving erratically, with one that appeared to be following the other. Gunfire erupted from one of the cars before both fled the area.

Officers later found a vehicle they believe was involved parked in the Sea View Estates neighborhood north of the school, but no one was inside. Two people near the car were detained but released without charges, police said.

The incident prompted a school lockdown, and aerial video from Sky5 showed a massive police response. Multiple ambulances could also be seen outside the campus.

Oxnard Police Chief Scott Whitney was among those to respond to the scene, officials said.

“Our schools should be the safest place for our kids during the school day,” Whitney said in a statement. “This type of violent crime is unacceptable.”

The gunfire left many students shaken.

“In my head, I was saying prayers,” student Isaiah Bustamante said. He added that he and another student were holding onto his necklace, a cross, during the lockdown.

“It’s just disgusting to see what it’s come to these days: people driving around with guns, shooting in front of a public school,” parent Joey Marquez said. “How much worse can it get?”

The school is expected to be open Friday, but the Oxnard Police Department will have officers at the school as a precaution.

The investigation into the shooting is ongoing, and Whitney said he is “confident that we’ll make an arrest in this case.”

Anyone with information can contact Detective Carey Everhart at 805-486-6228.

KTLA’s Erika Martin contributed to this report.

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