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A Pennsylvania 11-year-old answered a knock on her front door late Wednesday night – and then someone shot her in the face, according to authorities.
It happened just before midnight in Bethlehem, about 60 miles north of Philadelphia.
The girl is expected to survive but suffered “significant facial trauma” and was still undergoing treatment Thursday, the Bethlehem Police Department said in a statement.
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Investigators said they do not believe the shooting was random, but they also said the girl was likely not the intended target.
It’s unclear who else was in the home at the time, or why a young girl would have answered the door late at night. But images of the crime scene published in local media showed at least one vehicle was in the driveway.
Police have released few details about the suspect beyond describing him as “possibly male” and that he might have been wearing a face covering. But they said they do not believe there is “any increased danger” to the general public.
Residents are being urged to be “extra vigilant” and report anything suspicious to police.
Anyone with information on the suspect is asked to contact the Bethlehem Police Department’s tip line at 610-691-6660.
Neighbors told Allentown-based WFMZ that they heard multiple shots fired in rapid succession.
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Marcie Lightwood, whose backyard faces the home where the girl was shot, told Lehigh Valley Live that she and her husband awoke to the sound of five gunshots. She said the neighborhood is usually quiet.
The shooting comes as gun violence has surged in cities around the country, including Chicago and New York – where stray bullets have struck a number of child bystanders throughout the summer.
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