MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis Police are investigating after a child was shot in the head during a birthday party in Minneapolis’s Jordan neighborhood Saturday night.

It happened at about 8:30 p.m. on the 2200 block of Ilion Avenue. Police believe a four-door red Ford was driving in an alleyway when someone inside shot at a house.

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Children were playing in the yard, and police say a girl was shot in the head. Police say she is in “very critical condition” at an area hospital. She was taken by police squad car there; authorities said she couldn’t wait for an ambulance to arrive.

Jackie Robinson was at the party and lives in the neighborhood. She says they were celebrating her niece’s ninth birthday when her niece’s best friend was shot while they were playing outside.

“We’re just celebrating the birthday party and all of a sudden shots are coming towards kids on the trampoline,” Robinson said.

Shawndreya Amerson’s 5-year-old daughter was at the party when the shooting happened. She was able to FaceTime her daughter afterwards to make sure she was OK.

“My daughter’s like, ‘Mom someone just got shot,’ and I’m like, ‘What do you mean?’ She’s crying and I’m like, ‘Wait, what’s going on?’” Amerson said.

(credit: CBS)

Amerson’s daughter, along with all the other kids at the party, were not hurt — but are nonetheless traumatized.

“My daughter is 5 years old. My daughter doesn’t know what a damn gunshot is, she shouldn’t even have to at this age,” Amerson said.

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Parents, like Amerson, are left with shattered faith that their kids will be safe simply going outside to play.

“We can’t even do anything regular anymore? Our kids aren’t safe anymore?” Amerson said.

Robinson says gun violence is becoming too common along Ilion Avenue in north Minneapolis.

“I think that’s messed up, you know, but this isn’t the first time this has happened on this street,’” Robinson said.

Both Robinson and Amerson are questioning what Minneapolis City Council members and leaders will do to stop this from continuing to happen. This neighborhood is in Councilman Jeremiah Ellison’s ward.

“When do the people who are in charge take accountability? When does it happen? When do they step up?” Amerson said.

Ellison has not responded to any of WCCO’s requests for comment. WCCO also reached out to Mayor Jacob Frey. His office sent us this statement:

Mayor Frey’s heart is with the family as they pray for their daughter’s recovery. He is actively working with community and city leadership to reinvest in and rebuild community safety systems. He is also working with Northside leadership on new targeted initiatives to interrupt and crack down on the gun violence that is devastating families and our community as a whole.

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Minneapolis Police spokesperson John Elder said the suspect got away, but “no stone will be left unturned” in the investigation.

Marielle Mohs