James Hall had just double-parked his car outside his Southwest Philadelphia home when he heard another car rush by his, and then a pop.
The glass in his back window shattered. His stepdaughter, Aniyah Curry, sitting in the backseat, put her hands to her head, then pulled them away.
They were covered in blood.
Aniyah, 8, was rushed to the hospital Saturday night with a bullet lodged in her skull. On Tuesday, she was conscious, in pain, and awaiting surgery to extract the bullet. Police said she had suffered a fractured skull.
Lt. John Walker of Southwest Detectives said the case bore the hallmarks of a "classic road rage-type incident."
On Saturday night, Hall and his girlfriend, Lakisha Robinson, had returned from a mall with their children around 9 p.m. They were planning to visit Robinson's brother's house later and double-parked the car in the 5400 block of Haverford Avenue, intending to retrieve a few things from their house.
That's when another car sped by, and someone inside fired a shot, they said.
Whoever fired was close enough to see the three young girls sitting in the backseat, Walker said. He said the shooter may have been frustrated that the car had double-parked.
"Whoever this idiot was who fired this gun needs to do the right thing" and surrender, Walker said.
Robinson, who has spent several days at the hospital with her daughter, said Aniyah, a second grader, was making progress but in significant pain.
"She just wants to know why," she said. "She's 8 years old, and she doesn't deserve this."
Rasheem Curry, Aniyah's father, said it hurt him to see his daughter in a hospital bed.
"She's just an angel. She's a straight-A student. She loves to dance and sing. She's full of life," he said. "And someone tried to take my daughter's life."
Walker said police were searching for a dark-colored sedan, possibly carrying two people. He asked anyone with any information on the case to call the department's tip line at 215-686-TIPS.