WASHINGTON - Police have arrested a man for the shooting of a 7-year-old girl in Southeast D.C. last Friday night.
Michael Wiggins, 27, of Southwest D.C., was arrested Monday and charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and unlawful possession of a firearm.
The 7-year-old girl was shot in the stomach at around 9:39 p.m. in the 2900 block of Knox Place. She was transported to a local hospital and is in fair and stable condition.
On Monday afternoon, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser provided support to this Southeast community in disbelief over the shooting.
The mayor and other city officials joined in on a community walk at 4 p.m. on the same streets where the little girl was caught in the crossfire of a gun battle.
"I just ran for the phone and ran for a towel," said a female neighbor who helped treat the victim at the scene of the shooting. "As I'm talking to 911 running back to the door, she's saying compress it."
Witnesses said the girl's father picked her up and ran to the building next door.
"So I'm asking him where did she get shot and they didn't know, so [the man] lifted her shirt and saw a hole," the neighbor said.
Three days later, blood stains can still be seen on the floor where the girl's father and neighbors gave first aid to the child.
"If you can imagine, and I know we all hate to imagine for any of us that have children, to be in that situation, for him to act the way he did under that type of pressure, it's amazing, it's remarkable and very heroic," said D.C. Police Assistant Chief Peter Newsham. "In all likelihood, he saved her life."
The victim was with her family when the gunshots erupted, including her younger brother who witnessed the shooting and chaos that followed.
"He was like, 'My sister! My sister!'" said the neighbor. "He was frantic. As I was running, he said my sister got hit by fireworks. So I sat him down and turned the TV on."
"I was blown away that individuals right here in this community started immediately going into action," said ANC commission Paul Trantham. "I believe that because of how they reacted to the situation is what partially helped save this young lady's life."
For residents in the neighborhood, the sound of gunshots is not unusual. But police are encouraging people to come forward with tips.
"We are pretty confident that there are folks out there that have additional information regarding this case," said Newsham. "Even for the offender in this case, I can't imagine someone like that not turning themselves in knowing they are responsible for causing this injury to such a young little girl."
"With the kids, it's nowhere for them," the neighbor told us. "It's no life for them. They can't go outside and play. Even if they're in the house, they have to hear gunfire."