A couple in California did not report that their 10-year-old daughter had been shot for more than five hours because they thought she had just started her period, police have said.
The girl was asleep in bed at around 2am on Thursday morning when multiple bullets from an apparent drive-by shooting outside passed through the wall and hit her bed.
One of them wounded the girl in the buttocks, but when she woke up in pain and with blood in her underwear her parents mistook it for something much more innocuous.
According to Hayward Police Sergeant Mark Ormsby, the girl’s parents took her to the bathroom but, finding no obvious sign that she had been shot, sent her back to bed.
When the 10-year-old was still in pain on waking up for school some five hours later, her parents looked in her room and found bullet holes in the bed.
At this point they took her to hospital. The girl’s doctor told the police the entry wound for the bullet was so small it could easily have been missed if the family was not looking for it.
The girl stayed in hospital in a stable condition on Friday, police said.
According to reports from ABC7 News, more than three bullets were fired towards the house where the girl was sleeping, one of them shattering the window of a car parked outside and a number of others going through the wall of the building.
Police cordoned off the area around the house, and were filmed taking away evidence from the wall outside and from the girl’s bedroom.
The family returned to their home that same afternoon, with police unable to provide a motive for the shooting and with no arrests made.