George Floyd’s four-year-old great niece Arianna Delane was shot at night while she was sleeping in what her father claimed was a targeted attack.
Arianna was one of the two children and four adults who were sleeping inside the second floor of their south Houston, Texas apartment when a shooter opened fire at around 3am on New Year’s day.
Arianna was sleeping in the front bedroom when gunfire broke out. She survived the attack and is recovering after an emergency surgery for a punctured lung and liver. She also suffered three broken ribs.
“My daughter jumped up and said, ‘Daddy, I’ve been hit’ and I was shocked until I seen the blood and I realised my four-year-old daughter was really hit,” Arianna’s father Derrick Delane told ABC 13 Houston.
“She didn’t know what was going on. She was asleep,” he added. This is 4-year-old Arianna. She was front and center at the marches and rallies in her Uncle George Floyd’s case. On Saturday around 3am, her father said she was asleep in her bed when someone fired several shots at their apartment. Arianna was hit in her.
Houston police in a statement said they do not know the possible motive of the firing or if the girl or other family members were targeted. Mr Delane claimed it was a targeted shooting but did not elaborate. “Why would my house get shot up?” he said.
“My daughter don’t know. I can’t explain that to her. As the father, you’re supposed to protect the kids.”
The family has accused the police of a delayed response and said officials did not arrive until 7am.
Houston’s police chief Troy Finner said in a statement that an Internal Affairs investigation has been launched into the late response. “I am aware and have concerns regarding the delayed response time in this incident and have initiated an Internal Affairs investigation,” he said.
“I ask the city continue to pray for the child’s full recovery and assist in providing information that would lead to the arrest of the suspect or suspects responsible.”
Statement from Police Chief @TroyFinner regarding the January 1 shooting of a 4-year-old female at 3322 Yellowstone Boulevard.
Arianna accompanied her family members in several Black Lives Matter protests following the killing of her great uncle George Floyd. Ex-Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to more than 20 years in prison for the brutal murder after he was seen with his knee on 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 wants to become a dancer or cheerleader and hopes she will be able to fulfil her dreams after her recovery. “She’s healing very fast. The last time I checked on her she was breathing on her own. She was doing really great,” Mr Delane said.