A 9-year-old girl was hit by a stray bullet Sunday afternoon while playing with other children on porch steps in the Waverly neighborhood of North Baltimore, police said. The shooting occurred one block from where 3-year-old McKenzie Elliott was fatally shot in 2014.
Gunfire erupted around 1 p.m. in the 3500 block of Old York Road.
A shooter in a vehicle opened fire on four people who were near a home where the child was playing, police said. One of the bullets hit the girl, who suffered a broken femur and was being treated at a local hospital, police spokesman T.J. Smith said.
The intended targets fled the scene. Police are looking for them and consider them part of the investigation to find the shooter, interim Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said it was with a "heavy heart" that she learned a child had become another victim of violence on Baltimore streets. She renewed a plea for people to come forward with information.
"It's a sick, vicious cycle of violence," she said as about 30 members of the 300 Men March movement stood behind her.
Davis and Rawlings-Blake expressed disappointment that nobody had provided information on the shooter or the intended targets.
A faded sign taped on the front of a home urged people to attend a neighborhood safety meeting last week, saying: "Don't think our kids should have to run from bullets?"
Earlier this year, the city renamed the intersection of Old York Road and McKewin Avenue as "McKenzie Elliott Way." McKenzie was playing on her porch in 2014 was she was struck by a stray bullet.
Baltimore police made an arrest in the case, only to reveal months later that the person arrested was not charged with her killing.
"Maybe this is a time to get this one right," Davis said.
The neighborhood remained quiet Sunday as police investigated the scene. A block of Old York Road was closed off by police cars as investigators worked.
Few residents came outside as officials briefed reporters. About 15 children started playing on a lawn once officials left the scene.
One mother choked up on her porch when she discussed the violence in the neighborhood.
"These little kids are growing up having to duck and run," said the woman, who didn't want to be identified. "That shouldn't have to be on anybody's resume except a Navy SEAL. I believe in our city, but I'm being tested."