A Hayward family didn't call police for more than five hours after a 10-year-old girl was shot because they thought she had started her period, police said Friday.
The sleeping girl was wounded in the buttocks when someone sprayed her home on the 27000 block of Tampa Avenue with gunfire about 2 a.m. Thursday. Bullets shattered the rear window of a car parked out front, while other rounds went into the home.
When the girl woke up in pain, she thought she was having her period, because the bleeding "was consistent with menstruation," said Hayward police Sgt. Mark Ormsby.
The family contacted its doctor, who confirmed that the bleeding could be consistent with a period, Ormsby said. And there were no clear signs the girl had been shot when her family took her to the bathroom to clean her.
About 7:30 a.m., when the girl awoke, she was still in pain, unaware that the bullet "was lodged in the pelvic area," Ormsby said.
The parents then inspected her bed and saw bullet holes. They did a "full body inspection" of the girl, found an entry wound and immediately called 911, Ormsby said.
Investigators later spoke with the family's doctor and confirmed that the entry wound was "rather small" and could have been overlooked if they thought she was starting her period, Ormsby said.
Investigators said a motive for the shooting is unknown. They are trying to determine whether the home had been targeted or if its occupants could have been the victims of mistaken identity.
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