ST. PAUL, Minn. - Three people were shot and injured in St. Paul overnight, one of them critically, and police say the victim fighting for life is a 2-year-old girl.
Patrol officers heard the sound of gunshots around 12:10 a.m., and dispatch phone lines lit up at that same time with callers reporting shots fired on the 200 block of Maryland Avenue West. Those callers reported hearing between 20 and 30 gunshots.
Responding officers found three people who had been shot. The victims were transported to the Regions Hospital. Police say Chastity Yulia Vang, 2, remains in critical condition. A GoFundMe site has been established for her.
The men were identified as 23-year-old Shawn Vang and 27-year-old Lee Lor. They are expected to survive.
Police spokesman Steve Linders said investigators believe there is a connection between the shooters and one of the adult male victims, but at this point have no suspects, no arrests, and no established motive. He said while some witnesses are cooperating with authorities, others are not. Linders lamented the fact that gun violence is up more than 65 percent year-to-date over the same period of time last year.
"It's insidious, it rips at the fabric that holds St. Paul together, and it doesn't just affect the people who are struck," Linders told reporters. A bullet goes through the air and hits a person, and a family's life is devastated, children no longer feel safe in their neighborhoods, entire parts of town feel fear. And our officers are put in incredible danger when they respond to these types of calls."
Neighbor Dennis Hudson told KARE 11 Monday morning that the toddler was shot in the head. He says the family of the young victim was having a BBQ when someone came up and started shooting.
"When I came out my neighbor Shawn was right there at the corner holding his daughter," Hudson said. "He was like, 'Dennis, help me, my baby's been shot in the head.' So I looked down and saw the big gun shot wound in the head."
In Hudson's 10 years living in the neighborhood he says he's never seen anything like this.
Hudson describes the 2-year-old as a happy child who is always with her father.
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