We hear that 6-year-old Leslie Ramirez will survive the horror she experienced overnight.
Police say some 20 rounds were fired into her family’s East Oakland home in what might have been a gang-related attack. One of the bullets hit Leslie’s arm and went into her chest. As of this afternoon the first-grader was conscious and in stable condition at Children’s Hospital Oakland.
Leslie goes to Greenleaf Elementary, the East Oakland school I blogged about the other week. Her classmates made cards for her today, to cheer her up, and counselors came out to the campus.
Monica Thomas, Greenleaf’s principal, said most of her students live close to the school, which is on East 17th Street near 64th Avenue in East Oakland. Some of the parents told her they heard the shots that could have taken Leslie’s life.
“We thank God she’s OK, and we hope she remains OK,” Thomas said today.
Here is a letter that went home to Greenleaf families today:
September 28, 2010
Dear Greenleaf Community,
As some of you may have heard, one of our families experienced an extremely frightening incident in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Greenleaf student Leslie Ramirez was struck by a bullet around 2:15 AM when gunmen opened fire on the home where she was sleeping. One bullet hit Leslie’s arm and traveled into her chest. Fortunately, she is conscious and stable although surgery may be required at some point. We are extremely relieved and grateful that this incredibly serious incident did not result in an even deeper tragedy.
Law enforcement is still investigating this crime and the details are relatively few although we have been assured that Leslie, who is just six years old, was not the intended target. What we do know is that the Greenleaf community is devastated by the news. Our hearts go out to Leslie and her family. We are supporting them in every way we can and will continue to do so. We are also assisting our students and staff as they cope with the grieving process. OUSD grief counselors are on call and everyone will have access to their services.
This tragic event underscores how much work we have to do in order to improve respect for human life and protect the children of this city. The Oakland Police Department is handling this case as a criminal matter. We ask that anyone who learns of information about the incident, or any information which suggests students may be endangered – no matter how minor it may seem – contact the school, the police or OUSD’s anonymous Tip Line at 510.532.4867. All tips provided here remain confidential and the Oakland School Police will investigate all reports to help ensure the safety of our students.
I would like to recognize Greenleaf’s students and staff for their strength and resilience in the face of this traumatic situation. Finally, we send our deepest condolences to Leslie’s family and friends.