OAKLAND (CBS SF) — A 6-year-old girl playing her Oakland backyard early Tuesday was struck by a stray bullet fired in an illegal New Year celebration, and police believe technology may lead them to the shooter.

Oakland police said they received a call at 2 a.m. from a local hospital staff regarding a 6-year-old who was bought in for treatment of a single gunshot wound.

The little girl was then transferred to Children’s hospital where she was listed in stable condition.

Investigators said it happened in the 9600 block of Thermal Street. She was playing in the backyard of a house where her parents were at a New Year’s party, when she was struck by a stray bullet.

Eric Anderson lives across the street from where the little girl was struck.

“We were just watching the fireworks at the same time listening to all the gunshots,” said Anderson.

A family member drove the girl to the hospital.

Due to the injury to the child and evidence observed at the scene, police believe the child was struck by illegal celebratory gunfire.

“It was foolishness,” says Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick. “It was unnecessary, and in this case quite an innocent child was affected and harmed by this foolishness.”

The girl is in critical but stable condition at UCSF Benioff Childrens Hospital, with the bullet still in her head. She’s the youngest of five and is currently in a deep sleep, Kirkpatrick says.

She and another officer delivered a large teddy bear to the little girl New Year’s Day.

Kirkpatrick says it’s only a matter of time until police find the shooter.

“We know there’s a proximity to where that gun was fired. We also have the technology,” she said. “Everyone knows we have the Shot Spotter technology that can actually pinpoint where the gun was discharged.”

The investigation is on-going. Anyone with information regarding this case was encouraged to contact the Oakland Police Departments Felony Assault Unit at (510) 238-3426.

Oakland Police and Crime Stoppers of Oakland were offering a reward of up to $5, 000 for any information leading to an arrest in this case.


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