‘We are praying’: Gastonia neighbors hope for healing after 7-year-old shot

Nation and World News

GASTONIA, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE)- A 7-year-old girl was shot in the head and now, her own uncle is behind bars.

Jeremy Lewis is facing several charges including assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill or inflict serious injury, discharging a weapon into an occupied property, and possession of a firearm by a felon.

“I hope and pray that she’s going to be all right,” neighbor Butch Coxey said.

Investigators are still trying to piece together what happened and why an innocent child was hurt in all of it.

“When they come start putting that tape around my fence and stuff, I said, ‘what happened?’ I didn’t know,” Coxey said.

He lives next door to the home where the shooting took place. His Ring video shows him walking outside to police cruisers lining Ware Avenue. Shattered glass left on the stoop of the home paints a picture of panic.

“Somebody busted through the screen glass carrying the kid–it looked lifeless–and get in the car and take off,” a neighbor who wanted to remain anonymous told FOX 46.

Hopes and prayers are going out across the community in Gastonia after police say Lewis, 30, shot his young niece. He went before a judge Wednesday afternoon.

The little girl was taken to Levine Children’s Hospital. While authorities haven’t made her condition public knowledge, the state said there’s a possibility they’ll need to upgrade Lewis’ charges.

Back at the home Wednesday afternoon, investigators returned to the scene. FOX 46 cameras captured them leaving with evidence bags.

“I’ve been praying for the whole family,” Coxey said. “I’ve been here for 51 years and I have never seen anything like this.”

Lewis’ next court appearance is May 4. He remains in jail under a $500,000 bond.

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