CLEVELAND — Friends of a 74-year-old woman shot in a crossfire outside her home on Cleveland's West Side Monday called for city leaders to act as violence continues to rise on the city's streets.
Family members said Elham Baddour was pulling weeds outside her home near West 99th Street and Marietta Avenue Monday afternoon was she was shot in the hand and stomach after police said a group of teens playing basketball in the street and a carload of people began shooting at each other.
"I get so frustrated," said the victim's ex-husband Faouzi Baddour. "Why? Why does this happen?"
Baddour said his ex-wife, who he remains close with, will likely need another surgery Wednesday to repair her injuries.
"It's devastating," said Baddour. "I just pray to God that Elham will be fine."
Police said 19 year-old was shot in the street. An 18 year-old and 16-year old in the car were also shot.
Elaine Hidvegi watched the shooting from across the street.
"I saw her go down, and I go, 'oh no,'" said Hidvegi. "I ran over there and started yelling 'call 911' and I was screaming."
Hidvegi said her home and a neighbor's were both hit by bullets.
Her already rattled nerves were shaken again later than night by more gunfire on her block.
According to a police report, witnesses said someone drove down the street and fired 10 rounds from an SUV.
"Now, I'm like, I don't even want to go out of the house," said Hidvegi.
All of it comes during what has been the deadliest start to a year in at least a decade in Cleveland.
According to police department numbers, there have been 106 people killed in homicides in Cleveland so far in 2021. That's compared to 90 people killed during the same period in 2020.
Police department statistics show the 177 homicides in Cleveland in 2020 was the highest total since 1992.
Residents said Tuesday they want action from city leaders.
"They need to help," said Hidvegi. "Help us."
"Something like this has to stop somewhere," said Baddour. "It has to stop. Communities cannot hold on dealing day-in and day-out with kids having guns."
They hope city leaders do something to stop violence in a city where a 74-year-old woman can't even pull weeds without getting gunned down in her own yard.
"City leaders, they’re not meeting their responsibility except when they get paid," said Baddour. "When they get their salaries, that’s when they show up to do business. Other than that, they’re nowhere around."