By Brian Livingston
A 10-year-old girl is fighting for her life in Jackson as she tries to recover from being shot while sleeping by an intruder late Tuesday night.
Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department Chief Dep. Ward Calhoun said the girl's condition has not changed since she underwent emergency surgery for a gunshot wound.
"As far as we know she is still listed in critical but stable condition," Calhoun said Thursday afternoon. "We are still running down some leads and trying to find the person that is responsible."
Right at midnight Tuesday, a man burst through the door of a small apartment in an old motel located on Dale Drive in Marion and shot once, officials said. The bullet struck the girl, who was sleeping on an air mattress on the floor with her mother.
Calhoun said the bullet went through girl's side and exited, grazing the mother. The intruder stole the mother's purse and then fled, Calhoun said. Another child was in the room when the shooting occurred.
"This was an old motel so once the suspect broke through the door the victims were right there in front of him," Calhoun said. "We believe this was a targeted event in which the suspect either knew the woman or was very familiar with the room."
The child was first taken to Anderson Hospital, then airlifted to Jackson, where she underwent surgery.
Calhoun said they are teaming up with authorities with the Marion Police Department to try and find the suspect, who was described only as a black man dressed in dark clothing and wearing a mask.
Calhoun said if anyone has information about the shooting, they are urged to call toll free the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-855-485-8477.