WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) — A 16-year-old girl was shot in the face Tuesday evening, in what Washington police said was an accident.
The Washington Police Department said they received a call around 5:30 p.m. that someone was self-admitted to Vidant Beaufort Hospital with a gunshot wound to the face. She was then taken to Vidant Medical Center.
Neighbors said the victim is 16-year-old Tyonna Pope, who is in the 11th grade and attends Washington High School.
Police said the shooting happened on Pennsylvania Street when Pope and some friends got ahold of a gun, which went off.
“I didn’t expect it to happen in our community because it’s so quiet over here on this side,” said Doylene Stanley, a neighbor. “You know, we have a very quiet and close-knit neighborhood, but when I had heard of this, it was devastating to me.”
Stanley knew Pope through coaching at the town’s recreation club.
“They are young kids that are still in school,” said Stanley. “They can do something better with their life than play with guns.”
The victim’s aunt, who didn’t wish to be identified, said it’s hard to see something like this happen to someone with a bright future.
“It’s sad,” she said. “I don’t think that she deserves that, like it’s sad, she shouldn’t have to go through that, especially at such an age, a young age, nobody should have to go through it.”
Despite the shooting, she is hopeful Pope will be OK.
“I know she goes to school, and I know she does the very best she can,” her aunt said. “She helps her mother, like I know she wouldn’t have had this happen but it did. She’s going to be okay, and she’s going to on with her life, and she’s going to do the best that she can throughout her life.”
A juvenile male has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury in connection to the shooting.
Neighbors said he is a freshman in high school
Pope is still recovering.