A four-year-old girl who was hit by gunfire in southwest Houston on New Year’s Day has been identified as the niece of George Floyd, who was killed by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in May 2020.
Arianna Delane’s family told media outlet KHOU that the young girl was struck in her sleep after someone opened fire on their apartment complex just before 3 a.m. Another child and four adults were also in the apartment at the time, but no one else was injured.
The girl’s father, Derrick Delane, told KTRK-TV that his daughter suffered a punctured lung and liver and three broken ribs.
“My daughter jumped up and said, ‘Daddy, I’ve been hit,’ and I was shocked until I seen the blood and I realized my four-year-old daughter was really hit,” Delane told KTRK. “She didn’t know what was going on. She was asleep.”
According to a statement from Houston police on Tuesday, Arianna was taken to hospital in a private vehicle and underwent surgery for her injuries. She is currently in stable condition.
Police say there is no suspect description or motive for the shooting.
Arianna’s family told CBS News that it took police more than four hours to respond to the 911 call.
Houston police chief Troy Finner released a statement saying officers did respond to the call but did not see any evidence of a crime scene when they arrived.
“Officers went to the area and searched for a scene. They happened to notice a large hole in fencing leading to the apartment complex … but were not flagged down by any citizens and eventually left the location without observing a crime scene,” Finner wrote in a statement shared to Twitter.
Finner said that there will be an investigation into the response time, which will determine whether changes need to be made to dispatch and responding to calls.
George Floyd’s sister, LaTonya Floyd, told People Magazine that she’s spoken with her niece over video chat while the girl recovers in hospital.
“She’s doing fantastic,” LaTonya told the magazine.
“She’s a TikTok queen,” LaTonya continued. “She livens it up. She wants to be a dancer. She loves music. She loves to sing. She’s good in school. She’s only four and she goes to big girl school. She is sweet. A wonderful little girl. Wonderful.”
The apartment that was targeted was the one where Floyd’s family gathered to watch the verdict in the April 2021 trial of former officer Chauvin, reports ABC News. Chauvin was convicted of murdering Floyd and sentenced to more than 22 years in prison.
Arianna’s father told ABC News that he believes his family’s apartment was targeted.
“Why would my house get shot up?” he said. “My daughter don’t know. I can’t explain that to her. As the father, you’re supposed to protect the kids.”
A GoFundMe has been set up by Arianna’s aunt to help her family pay for medical care.