RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. - A 12-year-old girl was fighting for her life Tuesday night after police said she was shot during a fight in the 1200 block of West 28th Street in Riviera Beach. The injured girl attempted to run, investigators said, but later collapsed in the Hilltop Baptist Church parking, lot just before 5:30 p.m.
The girl was rushed to St. Mary's Medical Center where police said she was in critical condition, facing life-threatening injuries. Police said the girl was shot at least one time.
The church's pastor, Rev. Griffin Davis, is praying for the young girl whom he does not know.
"God can do anything but fail and I'm asking God to please help here," he said.
Crime scene tape lined the church parking lot Tuesday night; the place where police said the young victim collapsed after being hit by gunfire on a nearby street.
"I'm kind of glad she came up here because she couldn't go to a better place," said Rev. Davis. "By coming up to the church I guess she knew she was shot, she went up to the church here to be close to God," he said. Rev. Davis said he and his congregation will continue to pray for the girl. "It's heartache to see this, but, what can you do, but pray? I tell everybody, all I do is pray."
Investigators said the girl was a bystander as some kind of fight broke out on West 28th St. They said a gun was drawn, shots were fired and at least one bullet hit the girl. The fight that unfolded nearby, investigators said, was between groups of young people. "It saddens me to hear about young people fighting and to have a gun?," asked Riviera Beach Councilwoman Billie E. Brooks. "It really troubles me," she said. "It really grieves me."
Police are not yet releasing details about the person or persons responsible for the shooting. As the girl continues to be treated for her injuries, the investigation presses on.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Riviera Beach Police Department.