WEST PALM BEACH -- Four-year-old Krystal Black was sitting on a bed with her 2-year-old cousin watching Sesame Street in her grandparents home when a bullet pierced the bedroom window.
Her grandfather, Johnnie Walker, grabbed the two children and fell to the floor, shielding their bodies with his.
It was too late. She had already been hit, Walker said Thursday afternoon.
Krystal, who has three older sisters, asked her grandfather what happened and complained of glass in her eyes. As he looked at her face, he saw she had another serious injury.
Thats when I realized she had been shot in her mouth. At that time I thought she was leaving us, she was talking so calmly, Walker said. I thought when a person is fatally injured they dont hurt.
The bullet entered Krystals face through her cheek and exited the right side of her bottom lip. She is expected to fully recover after undergoing surgeries Friday at St. Marys Medical Center, Walker said.
Krystal was the unintended victim of a drive-by shooting near the intersection of Windsor Avenue and 31st Street. At least three shots were fired by two men inside a grey Chevy Impala at two other men walking on Windsor near the Walkers home at about 11:15 a.m.
Two of the bullets went through windows and one went through the wall of the Walkers single-story house, city police Allan Ortman said. Two shell casings were found across the street near a park.
Krystals grandparents called her father Kelvin Black, who was working as a city sanitation equipment officer. Black said he immediately rushed to the hospital.
As crime scene investigators canvassed the area Thursday afternoon, dozens of neighbors gathered outside to talk about what had happened.
One of the intended targets, who police did not name, stood next to authorities across the street from the Walkers home.
Krystals grandmother Adell Walker came outside and saw the man.
They were shooting at you, she screamed while leaning over her walker. You know they were shooting at you.
Neighbors said they didnt know the man, but have seen him walking in the neighborhood. They did know Krystal.
Shes always outside playing with her little toys, said neighbor Nathan Fox, 19.
The neighborhood is a high crime area, Ortman said. Shootings and fights are common at the park, which is known to police as a place youngsters gather.
Johnnie Walker, though, said Krystal could have been injured anywhere.
Crime is everywhere, he said. Right now its just a crying shame that we have so many young people out there with this deadly intent in their heart.