8-year-old Marrero shooting victim struggles to recover

8-year-old Marrero shooting victim struggles to recover

A Marrero family knows all too well the toll violence can take. Ayana Jennings says her daughter is someone who's always on the go.

"She's really smart, outgoing, outspoken," Jennings said. "She got a lot of hype."

So it's been tough for 8-year-old Anaya to find herself confined to a hospital bed. She is fighting to get back on her feet after being hit by a stray bullet last week. It happened Thursday at 9 p.m. just outside her home in the 1100 block of DiMarco Drive in Marrero. Police think the shooting may have been part of a carjacking.

"There's a possibility there's one or two more included in this matter," said Col. John Fortunato with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office.

"We baked a cake and the kids were hyped from the cake," said Alvanetta Pierre, Anaya's aunt. "They walked outside and was running and jumping around. As soon as they walked outside, not even three minutes, you hear shots ringing."

Those shots killed 29-year-old Anderson Charles Massey III, who lived next door. One of the bullets hit Anaya in the back and ricocheted off her rib cage before lodging near her spine. 

"She's on the morphine pump. She's getting continual medicine at all time," her mother said.

Anaya also has a broken shoulder blade, a broken rib and a collapsed lung.

GoFundMe.com site has been set up for the family to help with bills and therapy for Anaya after she recovers. In the meantime, the family wants anyone with information to come forward. 

"I'm just hoping somebody knows something - it'd be justice for my baby," said Jennings.

And until then, both mother and daughter are trying to stay strong.

"She said, 'Ma, why you crying? Stop crying. I'm gonna be alright,'" Jennings recounted tearfully. "She got a lot of moments like that - where she's more positive than me."

Copyright 2014 WVUE. All rights reserved.