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Niagara Falls girl, 13, shot in head by bullets fired into house

NIAGARA FALLS - A 13-year-old girl is in guarded condition in Women's and Children's Hospital after being struck by three bullets fired into her Niagara Falls home in an apparent drive-by shooting Thursday night.

The girl was home at 2475 Willow Ave. with her 39-year-old mother and her two brothers, ages 6 and 3, when the shots were fired. One bullet struck her in the forearm, another in the pelvis and the third in the head. The round lodged in her skull.

"Fortunately, this last round struck the victim at an angle where the bullet penetrated the skin and rode along the skull, stopping before and above the ear line. Despite the injuries, the girl walked herself to the ambulance," a Niagara Falls Police Department statement said.

The statement from Capt. Kelly Rizzo, chief of detectives, said the police don't think the shooting was random, but they don't believe the 13-year-old was the intended target.

Police are asking anyone with information about the case to call the Detective Bureau at 286-4553, and they are also asking for calls from anyone who lives in the neighborhood where the shooting occurred and has video surveillance cameras.

Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster made an appeal on Twitter Saturday morning for assistance from the public in finding the gunman. "Someone knows who did this. Stop the cycle of violence before someone is killed."

According to public records, the house is a rental home, owned by Debra Tomkiel of Grand Island.

email: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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