CHEEKTOWAGA – An 8-year-old girl is at home recovering Monday after she was shot in the eye with an airsoft gun while kids were playing cops and robbers Sunday afternoon on Cannas Court.
Assistant Chief of Police Jim Speyer says it appears that an 11-year-old boy from outside of the neighborhood fired the weapon while the kids played, hurting the girl’s left eye.
“We did call in two detectives yesterday because of the nature of the injury,” said Mr. Speyer. “They did interview mom. Mom was very understanding and they reassured mom that we would take every step we can and that we have a process.”
The 8-year-old girl was transported by ambulance to Oishei Children’s Hospital for treatment.
“My daughter is in a lot of pain, but she is alive, and it doesn’t look like she’s going to lose her eye,” said Tiffany Szczygiel. “When [doctors] went in they were able to see that she had an abrasion on her eye, so the BB did hit directly on her eyeball and then that caused some bleeding internally.”
The girl was released from the hospital and had a follow-up appointment with an optometrist Monday morning. According to Ms. Szczygiel, it doesn’t appear that they was any internal bleeding in the back of her eye.
The airsoft gun was seized by the police and the investigation – somewhat complicated by the fact that no adult was watching the group – is ongoing.
“We have to go and interview everybody. We have to weigh all these circumstances including whether it was intentional or not, and of course, [mom] believes it’s intentional. Others believe it was an accident, so we have opposing opinions on it,” said Mr. Speyer.
The Detective’s Bureau will also consult with the District Attorney’s Office during the investigation Mr. Speyer said. If charges are filed, the case will most likely be adjudicated in Family Count do to the age of the parties involved.
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