EMPORIA, Va. (WTVR) - An 11-year-old girl is in critical, but stable condition after she was shot in the head while riding her scooter. Shawdell Walton was hit in the head by a .40 caliber bullet after she unknowingly got caught up in the middle of a domestic dispute Friday, according to police in Emporia, Virginia.
“She was riding the scooter, trying to tell her mom something,” said Shawdwell's friend Laniecia Jones. “When she turned around, a bullet came and shot her in the head.”
The impact from the bullet knocked Shawdell off her scooter and nearly killed her.
She was airlifted to VCU Medical Center where she was listed in critical but stable condition Monday.
"I turned around when I heard gunshots,” said Laniecia. “And the guy was shooting and started running up the street."
Police say 23-year-old Evan McNair unloaded a .40 caliber semi-automatic weapon in the direction of his ex-girlfriend’s minivan. According to police, with her kids in tow, she managed to escape. But Shawdell, out for a carefree stroll on her scooter, wasn’t so lucky.
"He shot eight rounds, is what we've been able to determine at this point," said Det. Sgt. Stan Allen.
The Friday afternoon shooting took place in an area bustling with children. "It could've been me,” said Laniecia.
Friday's shooting came just hours after McNair was released from jail and served with a protective order.
"He was released after lunch,” said Patricia Watson, the Commonwealth's Attorney for Emporia-Greensville County. “Several hours later he found the victim."
The violence has rattled the nerves of parents and children living in the Reese community.
Especially since neither McNair nor his ex-girlfriend, who was apparently the intended target, lived there.
Laniecia said it’s hard for her ride her scooter, knowing her partner may never be able to ride again.
"I'm scared to come outside,” she said. “They may shoot me."
Evan McNair has been charged with attempted murder.