2 girls shot inside East Chicago home

Selena and Arianna Quiroz were shot inside an East Chicago home Tuesday, March 27, 2012.

March 27, 2012 10:00:00 PM PDT
Two young girls are hospitalized after being shot while playing video games in an East Chicago home. They were shot around 9:30 Tuesday night in the 3900-block of Fir Street.

Both girls were shot in the chest as they played inside their home. One is doing well enough that she may be able to head home from the hospital Thursday. The other, though, her condition is far more serious.

The two girls were dancing in the supposed safety of their own home when the bullets came crashing through the front window.

"She goes, 'Grandma I got shot, I got shot.' And Anna didn't know she got shot. She just kept saying I can't breathe, I can't breathe. And she fell to the floor," said Juanita Quiroz, the shooting victims' grandmother.

"All I heard was one of the bullets go 'whew,' and then a couple more," said Arturo Vargas, a witness and the girls' relative. "Then I pushed the girls to the floor. Then we all started crawling to the kitchen."

Vargas was with the girls in the front room. He and other relatives rushed to stop the bleeding of 11-year-old Selena Quiroz and her 10-year-old cousin Arianna.

In a flash the mood had changed from fun to fear.

"They were dancing to the Wii game that Arianna won for selling the most cookies at her school," said Juanita Quiroz.

"These two little girls should be at Franklin Elementary school today with the rest of their classmates," said Tavis Grant, Greater First Church of East Chicago. "What this family went through, no family should go through, and the people of East Chicago should say something about it."

Police say the shooter or shooters either drove or walked up to the East Chicago home and opened fire.

The motive remains a mystery. Investigators say more people need to come forward and say what they saw.

"Community involvement is the key to solving crime," said East Chicago Police Sergeant Juan Beltran. "If they stay shut up and closed minded, and not speaking to anybody, nothing is going to happen."

"I hope they turn themselves in, and if anybody knows anything I hope they step forward and say something, because this could be their kids," said Juanita Quiroz.

Police won't theorize about why this specific home was targeted, but a law enforcement source tells ABC 7 that a person who is known to affiliate with gangs is known to live in the house.

There is also talk of an apparent turf war going on in the area between several gangs after a huge federal investigation late last year wiped out several gang leaders.