VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A resilient 4-year-old is recovering after being shot in a Virginia Beach neighborhood.
Lydia Mitchell is on her way to preschool. She loves to dance and is excited to visit the Virginia Zoo.
Her sweet spirt keeps her parents going.
On July 7, her dad was carrying her from the car to visit her grandmom near Babney Court when someone started shooting at a house on Dandy Court.
Police officers said the bullet traveled through a unit, hitting Lydia her in the left eye several feet away.
“When they got to the house, she was asleep in the back seat,” said her mom, Kayla Ware. “He was just taking her out of the car, and he just felt the pressure hit her. He looked and it was just blood everywhere.
“Everyone knows bullets don’t have a name. They don’t have a stop button or a pause button. They don’t have a switch direction button. They just go and for a bullet to go almost 400 feet. It broke apart.”
Her dad rushed her to the hospital. She later recovered at the Children’s Hospital of King’s Daughters.
“She’s been her resilient self, singing and dancing,” Ware said. “Nothing has really changed at home. I still have to make sure that she’s aware of what happened to her. Finding the best way to let my child know something has happened to you.”
Neighbors at the Aden Park and Ebbetts Plaza tell 10 On Your Side they hope the shooter is arrested. Ware explains that whoever pulled the trigger must live with the fact that they have impacted her life.
“Knowing who it (is) really doesn’t matter to me, they have to live with that – if they care,” she said with tears in her eyes.
Doctors believe she may be permanently blind in her left eye.
“She’s been asked, ‘What happened?’ She’ll say I was hit (by a) bully,” Ware said. “We just label them as the bully. She knows that a bully hit her and that a bully did something to her.”
Ware said she is working to reassure her daughter and her dad as they heal from the traumatic experience.
“She is going to do so much,” Ware said. “There is a purpose behind everything, and she is here. That’s all I can be grateful for is that she is here. As her parents, we have done the best we can to protect her, and all we can do is take care of her when somebody else hurts her.”
Lydia is one of two little girls hit by bullets in July. In Portsmouth on July 21, ShaiAnn Coley was hit in the lower back when a bullet went through a wall on Virginia Avenue.
Their moms both want people to be more mindful of their actions.
“It missed everything. It didn’t hit nothing by grace of God. She is still here,” said Jasmine Reid. “She’s so brave. I don’t know if she fully grasped the concept of what happened to her. She is an amazing, brave 3-year-old little girl.”
Virginia Beach police still don’t have any suspects in the shooting of Lydia. They’ve since raised their reward for information in the case to $2,000.