Tampa toddler shot in broad daylight shooting

Toddler shot in the leg in Tampa

TAMPA -- A Tampa toddler was in the hospital Wednesday, recovering from a gunshot wound to the leg.

Several shots were fired through the front door of her family’s apartment at the Robles Park Housing Project in Tampa.

Aaliyah Avila, nearly 2-years-old had one of those bullets go straight through her thigh.

A family member says a second was just two inches from the little girl’s head. A second child, described as an infant, was also inside the home and was not hurt.

The shooting has sent chills through the community. So many bullets, fired in broad daylight, with virtually no regard for human life.

“She's fine,” said Ronisha Simmons, speaking about her two-year-old daughter.

But people living at Robles Park are angry.

“It's tragic, and people just need to put the guns down,” said Dominique Pickett, the young victim’s cousin.

Tampa Police say it was around 12:30 Wednesday afternoon when several young men approached 24-year-old Eduardo Avila in what might have been an attempted robbery.

Seconds after Avila ducked inside his apartment, more than a dozen shots were fired. Some going through the front door. One bullet striking little Alaya in the right thigh.

“It's not random, but still it's pretty chilling to think that somebody would do something like that. Just shoot into a house,” said Tampa Police Spokesman Steve Hegarty.

Crime scene investigators scoured the area for evidence as detectives questioned possible witnesses who reported seeing several young men running from the scene.

Robles Park is no stranger to crime, but Hegarty says they have not seen any recent escalation in trouble.

Still, so many shots, fired blindly into a home in the middle of the day has residents upset.

Coincidentally, the night before at a community meeting, several neighbors had expressed concerns about crime here and the need for better security.

“If Tampa Housing Authority isn't going to do it, then maybe somebody needs to be out of a job. A baby has been shot,” said Reva Iman, a Community Board Representative. “An innocent baby has been shot in broad daylight. This cannot continue.”

(© 2016 WTSP)


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