12-year-old girl shot in head while asleep in Southside home returns from hospital

Updated: Nov. 25, 2019 at 4:11 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A 12-year-old girl who was shot in the head while asleep in her bedroom in Richmond’s Southside has returned home from the hospital.

About 20 bullets pierced the home off of Joplin Avenue, just after midnight on Nov. 12, according to the girl’s father Abdus Shakur Rogers.

Rogers was the only one awake in the house at the time of the shooting. He was praying in his room, as his wife was in the bed nearby. The couple’s two sons were asleep downstairs, while five sisters slept in the upstairs bedroom.

After the barrage of gunfire, Rogers ran upstairs. He saw his daughter, As-Shifaa, bleeding on her bed. He held her in his arms, as the family of nine waited for the ambulance to arrive.

"I went upstairs. I was just hoping it wasn't the head, and she was just laying there,” said Rogers. "I said, ‘No.’ And I put my arms around her."

As-Shifaa suffered a gunshot wound to the back of her head. Incredibly, no one else in the home was hurt.

Rogers said doctors told him if the bullet had not shifted ever so slightly once entering his daughter’s skull, she would have died.

“The bullet should have went straight through and killed her,” he said. ”From the time she was in the hospital, she was fighting and fighting and fighting... The fact that she’s alive, I’m thankful. Every day, I’m just more appreciative and thankful."

As-Shifaa is a nickname given to her by her father, meaning “the cure.” Rogers says his daughter has always cured his heart.

Yesterday, As-Shifaa visited a park in a wheelchair yesterday. It was her first trip out since returning home.

Rogers says she can walk but has difficulty. As-Shifaa could have permanent difficulty seeing and speaking, even though she has regained some vision and speech already. A long recovery of physical and occupation therapy awaits her.

"Thank God she's talking. She's seeing. She's joking," said Rogers. "As-Shifaa is a beautiful, strong, young lady."

The family has moved out of the home and is temporarily staying in a one-bedroom apartment. Rogers, a USPS mail carrier, is on unpaid leave to help care for his daughter. He says medical bills are mounting, as he is now looking for a new house for his family.

"We were trying to figure out if she was going to live,” he said. “There's so much we need to do."

Rogers has started an online fundraiser to help pay for medical expenses, as his daughter recovers.

Meantime, he’s praying police are able to nab the suspect who would so callously shot into the home of a family of nine, nearly two dozen times.

“Whether the police find the person or not, my daughter is here,” said Rogers, who is a devout Muslim who stressed that he and his family seek justice, not retaliation of any kind. “God knows who did it... We believe God is a fair God.”

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