Deputies: 15-year-old girl shot near Pine Hills
Family was caught in crossfire on way home, deputies say
PINE HILLS, Fla. – A 15-year-old girl was seriously injured on Sunday night when her family was caught in the middle of a shootout in Pine Hills, according to Orange County sheriff's deputies.
Deputies said it happened Sunday night near the Monument of Faith Church at North Lane and Powers Drive. The family was celebrating the mother's birthday and picked up a friend from a bus stop when two cars sped up to them and they heard gunshots.
The girl's father tried to drive away when he heard his back windshield shatter, deputies said. He turned around and saw his daughter, identified as Danielle Sampson, slumped over, deputies said.
Detectives are looking for two cars possibly involved in the shooting -- a charcoal SUV and a tan sedan.
An ambulance took Sampson to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where she's in serious condition, according to the sheriff's office.
Investigators said this family was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Local 6 spoke to the victim's sister, who said there were four people in the car at the time.
"The bullet entered here, above her ear, lodged her brain," the sister, who wished to remain unnamed, told Local 6. "Doctors don't plan on removing it because that can cause complications."
Danielle's sister said Danielle is a student at Apopka High School and is on the basketball team and involved in the drama class. She is also a member of New Destiny Church.
"They are still scared, there are people of faith by her bedside holding her hand, talking to her, saying it is going to be OK," her sister told Local 6.
Crimeline is offering a $1,000 reward for information in the case, along with the family's matching $1,000 reward.
The family has also planned a vigil on Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. at the Well of Hope Church on Indian Hill Road in Pine Hills. They are asking people to wear Danielle's favorite color-blue.
There is also a Facebook page, called "Hope for Danielle" that the family set up to reach the hundreds of people who knew Danielle to ask for awareness and support.
Watch Local 6 News for more information.
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