George Floyd’s four-year-old great-niece, Arianna Delane, was shot dead in her sleep one night when her father claimed it was a targeted attack.
Arianna was one of two children and four adults sleeping on the second floor of her apartment in south Houston, Texas, when a shooter opened fire around 3 a.m. on New Years Day.
Arianna was sleeping in the front bedroom when gunfire broke out.
She survived the attack and is recovering from emergency surgery for a lung and liver puncture. She also suffered three broken ribs.
“My daughter jumped up and said, ‘Daddy, I was beaten’ and I was shocked until I saw the blood and realized my four-year-old daughter was really beaten,” Arianna’s father Derrick Delane told ABC 13 Houston.
“She didn’t know what was going on. She slept, ”he added.
Houston police said in a statement they were unaware of the possible motive for the shooting or whether the girl or other family members were attacked.
Mr Delane claimed it was a targeted shootout but did not elaborate on it.
“Why should my house be shot down?” he said.
“My daughter doesn’t know. I can’t explain that to her. As a father you should protect the children. “
The family alleged the police were late in responding, saying the officers didn’t arrive until 7:00 a.m.
Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said in a statement that an internal affairs investigation had been opened because of the late response.
“I am aware of the delay in response to this incident and have concerns and have opened an internal investigation,” he said.
“I ask the city to continue praying for the child’s full recovery and to help provide information that would lead to the arrest of the suspect or suspects.”
Arianna accompanied her family members in several protests against Black Lives Matter after the murder of her great-uncle George Floyd.
Former Minneapolis official Derek Chauvin was sentenced to more than 20 years in prison for the brutal murder after being seen with his knee to Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds in May 2020.
Arianna’s grandmother LaTonya is Floyd’s sister.
Mr Delane said his daughter would like to become a dancer or cheerleader and hopes that after her recovery she can fulfill her dreams.
“It heals very quickly. The last time I checked on her, she was breathing on her own. She was really great, ”said Mr Delane.