A 13-year-old Cleveland girl, who attended Wednesday’s Cavaliers championship parade in hopes of seeing LeBron James, never saw the MVP and wound up in the hospital with two gunshot wounds instead.
Now, the girl’s mother, who did not want herself or her daughter identified publicly for fear of gang retaliation, is blaming the city for what she believed was poor crowd control.
“It was out of control and she was an innocent bystander,” the girl’s mother said.
The teen was walking with friends in a crowd near Public Square on Wednesday when she says a crowd of boys began fighting. The chaos erupted as the Cavs celebration was winding down around 5:00 p.m.
That fight escalated and the girl wound up caught in someone else’s crossfire, sustaining gunshot wounds to both her legs. She was treated and released from MetroHealth.
“As soon as I walked in the door, I was getting phone calls saying my daughter is shot,” the girls mother said. “Her summer is over. Like, she had plans for the summer. She wanted to go swimming. I mean, she wanted to be a kid.”
The mother said there was clearly a lack of security and planning for what turned out to be an historically massive crowd.
“The only reason why I let her attend is because I thought she was going to be safe,” the woman said. "I mean I know it can happen anywhere, but I had no clue a guy with a gun is going to be walking through the crowds….and shooting.”
In the moments following the shooting, Cleveland Police charged a 15-year-old boy with carrying a concealed weapon, but he has not been formally linked to the shooting. A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said they were still investigating.
In response to claims the city was not adequately prepared, a Mayor’s Office spokesman declined to comment, he said, because of the ongoing police investigation.
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