Child shooting victim leaves the hospital, bullet remains in her chest

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Nine-year-old Katherine Messer said she was getting ready to attend a birthday party Wednesday afternoon when a stray bullet nearly took her life.

“I was in that house about to come home, and I didn’t even open the door yet, and I got hurt,” said Messer.

According to Columbus Police, it all happened shortly before 5 pm yesterday, at the 1800 block of South 5th Street.

That’s when police say two individuals began shooting at each other in the middle of the road.

One of those bullets struck Messer in the upper left part of her chest and miraculously wound up avoiding her heart.

“It entered three inches away from the heart, it didn’t do internal damage, however, if they would’ve cut the bullet out, she would’ve pretty much bled out,” said Katherine Bocook, Messer’s mother.

Bocook, said doctors at Nationwide Children’s decided to leave the bullet in, to avoid further harm.

She said the physical and mental trauma her daughter experienced, will stay with her just as long.

“So now she has to feel unsafe even walking out the house to go to the store. I tried to take her to the store this morning couldn’t even get her out the house, because one little noise, a trash truck, she dropped to the floor. Mommy don’t let them get me,” said Bocook.

And as for those responsible, Bocook said they need to be found and held accountable.

“They need to stop it; I don’t care if they have to take the guns away from everybody. It’s got to stop one way or another…it’s not fair,” said Bocook.

Surveillance footage from homes and stores nearby is being turned over to the police, to help with the investigation.

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