Houston, TX – Officials want to know why it took four hours for police to respond after the late George Floyd’s four-year-old niece was shot multiple times in her bed in her family’s Houston apartment on New Year’s Day.
The shooting occurred at about 2:55 a.m. on Jan. 1 in the 3300-block of Yellowstone Boulevard, close to the Highway 288-South 610 interchange on Houston’s south side, KPRC reported.
The Houston Police Department’s (HPD) Major Assaults and Family Violence Division said there were four adults and two children inside the apartment when somebody opened fire on it.
Floyd’s great-niece, Arianna Delane, whose image became well known on the front lines of the protests after her uncle’s death in the custody of the Minneapolis police on May 25, 2020, sustained multiple gunshot wounds to her torso, KTRK reported.
“My daughter jumped up and said she had been hit,” Arianna’s father, Derrick Delane, told KPRC. “I [saw] the blood, the bleeding, and I grabbed her.”
Somebody called 911 but when help didn’t arrive fast enough, Arianna’s mother put the child in their car and drove her to a nearby hospital where she was rushed into surgery, the San Antonio Express-News reported.
The little girl’s father said his daughter remained hospitalized in stable condition with three broken ribs and a punctured lung and liver, KTRK reported.
“She’s healing very fast. The last time I checked on her she was breathing on her own. She was doing really great,” Derrick Delane told KPRC.
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 3 a.m., her father tells me she was asleep in her bed when someone fired several shots at their apartment. Arianna was hit in her torso. pic.twitter.com/Cpo1oFwase
— Mycah Hatfield (@MycahABC13) January 4, 2022
Police have not yet released any details from their investigation into the incident.
Derrick Delane told KTRK that he thought their home had been targeted.
“Why would my house get shot up?” he asked. “My daughter don’t know. I can’t explain that to her. As the father, you’re supposed to protect the kids.”
The father said he also wanted to know why it took four hours for Houston police and emergency services to respond to the 911 call after Arianna was shot on Saturday morning.
He told reporters that police didn’t arrive until about 7 a.m., four hours after his four year old was shot in her bed inside the apartment, KTRK reported.
On Tuesday, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner announced a probe into the police department’s response time to the Delane family’s 911 call.
“I am aware and have concerns regarding the delayed response time in this incident and have initiated an Internal Affairs investigation,” Chief Finner’s statement read. “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.”
Officials said the investigation into the shooting of the four-year-old girl was ongoing as well.
No arrests have been made thus far and police have released no information about suspects to the public, KTRK reported.
Police have asked that anyone with information about the shooting contact HPD Major Assaults and Family Violence Division at 713-308-8800 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8477).
The shooting comes at a time when Floyd’s family members are waiting to find out whether Texas Governor Greg Abbott will agree to a posthumous pardon for Floyd for a drug conviction that stemmed from an arrest made by a now-disreputable police officer.
The Harris County Public Defender’s Office submitted a posthumous request for a pardon for Floyd in May with support from the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
Floyd was arrested in Houston in February of 2004 after he sold $10 worth of crack to undercover Houston Police Officer Gerald Goines, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 months in a state jail.
Goines, who has since retired from the police force, is currently facing two felony murder charges in connection with a deadly drug raid.
Prosecutors have dismissed more than 160 convictions tied to Goines since his arrest, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
Allison Mathis, who filed the pardon request for the Harris County Public Defender’s Office, said that Floyd pleaded guilty to avoid a possible 25-year sentence because of his past criminal history.
Mathis alleged in her posthumous pardon application to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles that Goines had made up a confidential informant in Floyd’s case, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
She wrote that “no one bothered to question the word of a veteran cop against that of a previously-convicted black man.”
Mathis told the board that a pardon “wouldn’t erase the memory, personal or institutional, of this thing that happened to him, or the things that would happen to him later… It would show that the state of Texas is interested in fundamental fairness, in admitting its mistakes, and in working to increase the accountability for police officers who break our trust and their oaths, and harm our people rather than serve them,” the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.