“I cried so much that I really can’t keep crying”: Father of 4-year-old shot in head trying to keep hope alive

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A Birmingham father is holding onto hope that his 4-year-old daughter will survive after she was shot in the head by a stray bullet at a Birmingham apartment.

The shooting happened Sunday night at the Marks Village public housing community in Gate City just after 10 p.m.

“I cried so much that I really can’t keep crying, but I’ really just trying to be strong for my daughter,” said Michael Coleman, the victim’s father.

Coleman said his daughter, Jurnee, remains at Children’s of Alabama with life-threatening injuries.

“I told her to go get in my bed, she went and got in my bed, and I guess she came downstairs because she wanted something to drink. I normally give her her juice with her food so she won’t have to come back down the stairs,” he said.

However, Coleman has faith that his little girl will pull through.

“I’ve got so much faith in God, she ain’t’ going nowhere, she’s going to stay right here until further notice and we’re going to go home and we’re going to eat our watermelon, she loves fruit,” he said.

The Birmingham Police Department is still investigating the shooting. A potential suspect was taken in for questioning, but charges have not been filed.

According to BPD, the shooting came after an altercation between two family members outside of the residence.

While the incident remains under investigation, Coleman said he was the intended target. Coleman told CBS 42 that a cousin allegedly began shooting at him outside of the residence.

“I ain’t got no words for him, he shot my daughter in the head, she [is] in there fighting for her life with a bullet in her head,” he said.

Birmingham police declined to release additional details, citing the ongoing case. During a news conference Monday, Mayor Randall Woodfin expressed frustration over the shooting.

“You had two family members, adults, who were engaging each other, that’s not something you can necessarily police when it is family. What I can tell you is that in no form, in no way and no shape, in no instance, should a four-year-old be shot,” Woodfin said.

Woodfin said he met with family members after the shooting and called the shooting unacceptable.

“There’s only one person to look to blame and that is the shooter. And so the focus we have to all have right now is our energy, our prayers on this four-year-old,” he said.

While Coleman remains with his daughter at the hospital, he said he wishes he could trade places with Jurnee. In the meantime, family members are relying on faith and thanking neighbors for prayers.

“I have never seen so many prayers like that, but she has so much love,” he said.

Community groups were also out at Marks Village Monday after the shooting. Eric Wynn with the group We’re All Related said it is important to teach better ways to handle conflict.

“They develop that mindset over time growing up in these communities and so in order to reduce it we have to stop them from developing that mindset and come up with creative ways to instill unity in our youth,” Wynn said.

While BPD continues talking to a potential suspect, charges had not been filed as of Monday evening.

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