JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Friday began with a prayer vigil inside the Boys and Girls Club on Sykes Park Road. Pastors from South Jackson gathered to pray for the club, the city, and of course 3rd grade Sykes Elementary School student Sanaa Hill and her family.
"We want her back in this safe place. We miss her. We want her back with us," says Boys and Girls Club Executive Director Billy Redd.
Redd says it's still a safe place for children despite the isolated incident, and Friday afternoon kids arrived as usual for after-school activities. A Jackson Police officer was there, keeping close watch.
Around 2 p.m. Thursday, Sanaa was sitting in a group of other children at the club doing her homework when suddenly a bullet struck her in the right side of her head.
The bullet hole is visible in the west side of the metal building. It appears to have been fired from a very distant range, from somewhere in the park, which sits behind the building.
Jackson police kept the scene orderly on Thursday, even as nervous parents approached and learned the horror of what happened. Sanaa was alert and talking as she was put in the ambulance.
"She grabbed the hand of one of our lieutenants that was on scene. She said she was scared. She asked him not to leave. She grabbed hold of his hand. He didn't turn her hand loose until they got to the hospital," Police spokesman Joseph Daughtry says.
Police continue to follow leads in the case. Two young witnesses told them they saw three bullets fired from a group of three people in the park. The group then sped away in a gray car.
If you have any information on this crime, call Jackson Police at 601-960-1234.