Victim, 13, of playground shooting isn't staying in Chicago

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The 13-year-old girl who was shot in the hand while playing outside her elementary school in Chicago's Pill Hill neighborhood spoke exclusively to ABC7 Eyewitness News. (WLS)

An ABC7 Eyewitness News Exclusive
The 13-year-old girl who was shot in the hand while playing outside her elementary school in Chicago's Pill Hill neighborhood spoke exclusively with ABC7 Eyewitness News about how her summer plans changed in an instant.

When we caught up with Dakayla Hart and her mother on the same playground outside Warren Elementary School, where the shooting happened, she was laughing again. It feels good, her mother says, to be around her friends and back outside.

That was exactly the kind of fun Dakayla had in mind last Friday. Instead, a bullet shattered her hand. The injury will keep her from playing basketball, volleyball and doing gymnastics for months.

"I love sports a lot. I like volleyball, I play basketball, I do gymnastics, but all of that has been put aside for many months," she said, tearing up.

The shooting happened just a few feet from where she was sitting Thursday at an after school event celebrating the impending end of the school year.

"Everybody was just having fun, playing with water guns, throwing water balloons, and softball, baseball, and playing basketball. Everyone was having fun," Dakayla said.

But as she puts it, that changed quickly.

"And then a black car came around the corner and started shooting, and that's when I got hit," she said. "I was facing in that direction because we were playing volleyball. It was like, they sped around the corner and that's when they started shooting."

"That bullet could have easily came out and went anywhere and she would not be here," said Kiki Hart, Dakayla's mother.

One of those bullets also hit 7-year-old Jayla Wright and grazed her leg. Police caught up to three men within 15 minutes of the shooting. Raekwon Hudson, 18, and two 17-year-olds are now charged.

"I want to call them hoodlums, personally, because they get these guns they're not equipped to use, never had gun training, and just out firing," Kiki said.

For Dakayla it's still rough. Summer won't be what she expected.

"Inside her hand the bullet actually shattered her bones," her mother said.

"I'm in pain every day," said Dakayla.

Kiki Hart said her daughter will need several more surgeries and can't really move her fingers at this point. She was supposed to spend one more year at Warren Elementary, but they won't be staying. Instead the family is moving back to Indiana. Jayla Wright's family also said they would be leaving Chicago.

Related Topics:
chicago shootingchild shotexclusiveChicagoPill Hill
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