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Cleveland: 12-year-old girl shot in stable condition

5:38 PM, May 27, 2013   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- 12-year-old Toni Landers is recovering after being shot in the chest.

Police were called to Walter A. Burks Park on Parkwood Avenue, off of Tacoma Avenue, Sunday night.

Police tell Channel 3 two men were walking east on Tacoma Avenue when one man yelled, "Get down and cover your heads."

The two men started shooting at a man located across the park. That man began shooting back at them.

The shooting stopped briefly. Landers went to get up and she was shot in the chest near the monkey bars.  She was taken to Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital by family members.

The girl underwent surgery and is now in stable condition and in Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

Toni Landers will be okay. Her family tells us they are thanking God for that as she recovers after she was shot Sunday at an east side park.

Landers is in stable condition in the Pediatric Intensive Care unit at Rainbow Babies and Childrens Hospital. Family members tell Channel 3 News that she is suffering from at least one broken rib and a punctured lung.

Walter A. Burks Park and playground is a popular spot on Parkwood Avenue, and her cousin Jade Davis says it was busy when they stopped to play Sunday evening.

"It's terrible you know. You can't go to the park, if anything you would think the park is a safe place," said Davis.

But just five minutes after they arrived, Davis, Toni and a few others playing near the monkey bars, were caught in the crossfire. "We were [screaming], as soon as they started shooting, we were down," she said.

Davis says two black men of medium build, both about 5'8" fired off 10 bullets, and another man, described as about 40-year-old black man about 5'9", returned gunfire.

"The other two guys were already gone, sol I guess he was just like, oh, well that must be them in the park, and then he starts shooting our way," she said.

Toni was caught in the middle, shot in the chest. Friend and former classmate Jharon Perkins heard the shots not far away. "I was so scared I was going to get shot when I was over there," said Perkins. "It's not the first time somebody never got shot over here."

Davis said Toni never lost consciousness and calls her a solider, who will be okay. But they'll never feel as safe.

"She's doing great you know. God is there. That's all I can say. He was really there to bless us," said Davis.

Davis believes someone saw the shooting and could provide Cleveland Police with more information. Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call 5th District detectives at 216-623-5518.

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