Share and Follow
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The family of a child shot in August off Ken Knight Drive spoke to News4JAX Friday and made a plea to the community to stop gun violence.
Lilchelle Johnson, 13, was accidentally shot in the stomach on Aug. 4. According to Rachelle Johnson, Lilchelle’s mother, her child was outside when a man started asking her some questions, then, another person started shooting at the man, but ended up hitting Lilchelle.
Lilchelle was 12 years old at the time of the shooting.
A few days after the shooting, police arrested Darion Sumpter, 21, for the attempted murder of Lilchelle. According to the arrest report, the 12-year-old was not the intended target.
According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, a witness overheard Sumpter tell someone he was going to rob a person. Moments later, several witnesses heard multiple gunshots.
“When I heard that first shot because I heard my door shut, in my gut, I felt my baby got shot. I felt when she got shot,” said Johnson.
That’s when Rochelle found her daughter wounded behind their home.
When she first arrived at the hospital, Johnson was placed on spinal precaution due to the bullet being close to her spine, her mother said.
She also said if there had not been anyone around, she doesn’t think her daughter would have made it.
“They held her womb when they talked to her,” Johnson said. “She didn’t even cry.”
Lilchelle was initially taken to Jacksonville UF Health, but she was transferred to the Gainesville location due to further complications.
“It hit my baby in the stomach and pierced her liver, that healed itself. And then when they got all the inflammation and stuff, they noticed that she had a tiny hole in the colon. So that’s what they are working to fix now,” Johnson said.
During an emotional conversation, Lilchelle’s mother made a plea to the community.
“I would like these kids to know: listen to the parents, stop being sneaky, because you’re only going to get in trouble,” Johnson said. “Let my daughter be a lesson to the rest of these kids.”
Johnson also said people need to “put these guns down.”
“Let’s love on one another,” she said. “If you want to shoot up stuff, go in the army, go into service, go into Marines. This is our neighborhood.”
The Johnson family has started a GoFundMe campaign to help with Lilchelle’s medical expenses.
The bullet is still lodged in the 12-year-old, and so far, she has undergone over 10 surgeries. Her family said she could possibly undergo more but they are hoping for a full recovery.
Copyright 2023 by WJXT News4JAX – All rights reserved.