9-year-old girl shot in drive-by shooting in Atlanta

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A 9-year-old girl was shot Tuesday night after a drive-by shooting near Landrum Drive SW in Atlanta, according to the Atlanta Police Department.

Police officers were called to the Hidden Village apartments around 8 p.m. and found the girl with a gunshot wound to the shoulder, according to officials.

"This is something that didn't have to happen to an innocent 9-year-old girl. It just didn't have to happen. It's senseless," said Whitney Smith, the victim's mother.

The girl was alert, conscious, and breathing at the time she was being transported by EMS, according to police. There are no suspects in custody.

Kendall's mom Whitney Smith and her three children moved to Atlanta from North Carolina a few weeks ago, staying with family at the Hidden Village Apartments in southwest Atlanta when tragedy struck at around 8 Tuesday night.

Investigators tell FOX 5, the ordeal occurred after a sedan drove by the apartment complex, and people who were connected with the vehicle opened fire. 

Relatives of the girl told FOX 5, she was struck in the shoulder and the bullet exited her body. 

She was transported to Eggleston Children’s Hospital in stable condition, relatives said. 

While police are unsure who the targets could be, they suspect the shooters were aiming for an upstairs unit and struck the downstairs unit and girl's home, as well. 

Deywane Mason, a family member told FOX 5, "When I first heard it I didn't think it was real I didn't think it was bullets 'til I heard my sister scream and my niece started crying."

Little Kendall and her siblings were picking up their toys in the living room when shots rang out.

"And the children's first response was to run to me. Coming up the hallway, my daughter was the first one up the hallway and she caught the bullet coming up," said Smith.

Police say a navy blue car pulled up in front of the apartments, and a passenger in the vehicle got out and opened fire, shooting up Kendall's downstairs unit and two other apartments before speeding off, as Kendall lay bleeding in her mother's arms.

"Where the bullet went in it took a piece of her bone so she's dealing with a broken arm she has some swelling and some bleeding but other than that she's in really high spirits.  She's talking and alert and awake and I'm just thankful for that," said Smith.