Shot mother's horror at realizing toddler daughter also hit by gang bullet


Shandrea Spielman was walking through a south Minneapolis park with her 15-month-old daughter Eden when she heard gunshots.

It was 2 p.m. on June 17 and the last thing the mother, who is also pregnant with her third child, was expecting was gunfire while taking a stroll in Peavey Park.

But the pair were about to be innocent casualties of a gang feud, with Spielman catching a stray bullet in her calf which then hit her daughter in the lower hip as she slept in her stroller, damaging her intestines, the Star Tribune reports.

"I thought, ‘It’s not gunshots. It’s the middle of the day and I’m at a park,’ " Spielman told the newspaper Friday. "But then I looked down and saw the blood dripping down my leg."

The pair were guests of Minneapolis police on Friday, when they spoke with Chief Janee Harteau and investigators who have since served eight charges on a man accused of being responsible for their shooting, according to the Minneapolis PD Facebook page.

WCCO notes that Spielman didn't initially realize that her daughter had been injured, saying: "I didn't really care that I got hit. I was more happy that she didn't, so when I found out that she did it was not a good day anymore."

Eden had to undergo surgery following the incident and is currently wearing a colostomy bag as her wounds heal, while her mother could have long-term nerve damage in her leg, the TV station says.

Now Spielman is focusing on their recovery, describing her daughter to the Star Tribune as "our tough kid," and saying she was just glad it wasn't more serious.

Charges issued, but some witnesses 'refuse to cooperate'

Dontae Denae Peterson, 24, of Minneapolis faces eight counts of attempted murder and assault in connection with the shooting, with Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman describing it as "outrageous, criminal behavior that resulted in an innocent mother and child suffering terrible wounds."

The charges allege he was shooting at the driver of an SUV in the area – firing at the vehicle eight times, one of which hit the mother and daughter.

But Sgt. Greg Freeman told WCCO that some witnesses in the case have been refusing to cooperate with authorities in their investigation into the gang-related shooting.

"This is a baby and a mom and the code of silence needs to be broken," he said.

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