Girl shot inside family's vehicle in SE Houston

February 28, 2011 3:51:19 AM PST
An 8-year-old girl is in critical condition after she was shot inside her family's vehicle in southeast Houston early Sunday morning. It happened near Hollock and Radio around 6am. Police say the shooting happened after a fight and the attackers had followed the family. Five other children were in the SUV at the time of the shooting.

"They went to eat. They came back and pick up the kids," said the victim's grandmother, Lupe Arispe.

Arispe says her son and daughter-in-law had loaded the six young kids into their SUV headed to their home in Baytown, and that's when they all heard gunshots.

"My dad said, 'Get down, Get down,' and when we got down. Desiree didn't know what to do, so she looked out the window and then right then and there, she got shot," said the victim's sister, Reina Mendoza.

The 10-year-old says when she looked behind her in the back seat, she saw her 8-year-old sister Desiree Mendez, bleeding.

"She didn't cry," she said. "She just said I got shot."

Little Desiree was rushed to the hospital. Then about an hour later, HPD says one of the suspects came back, firing several more shots. Two people are now in custody.

Police says the motive for the drive-by shooting was an argument at a restaurant hours earlier between Desiree's family members and the suspects who are also family acquaintances.

"That's my granddaughter and I want him in jail and I want him to pay for what he did to her," said Arispe.

Now with a bullet lodged in her back near her liver, family members, including the children who witness the shooting, are praying the straight-A elementary school student will be OK.

"I was scared because I didn't know if she was going to walk again," said the victim's cousin, Fabian Arispe.

"It's going to be alright because it should not have happened to her," said Desiree's grandmother.

We're told the little girl who was shot is in critical, but stable condition. The other children who were in the SUV were not hurt.