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East St. Louis girl shot while sleeping declared brain dead

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A 3-year-old girl struck by a stray bullet at an East St. Louis public housing complex has been declared brain dead, and her family has decided to donate her organs, the girl’s aunt said Wednesday.

Calyia Elizabeth Stringer was asleep in bed at her father’s apartment when a bullet struck her under the left eye, her aunt, Mariesha Samuels of Belleville, told the St. Louis Post- Dispatch. Calyia’s father and grandmother were in the apartment but were not hurt, she said.

Housing authority public safety chief Cortez Slack said people were shooting at each other around 9:30 p.m. Sunday at the Roosevelt Homes. A bullet pierced a window and hit the girl, Slack said.

East St. Louis police and the Illinois State Police are investigating the shooting but have not announced any arrests or a description of any suspects.

Calyia was taken to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis.

“Doctors told us she was brain dead almost instantly,” Samuels said. The fam- ily agreed to donate her organs, and that process began Tuesday evening.

As of Wednesday after- noon, the St. Louis medical examiner’s office had not received a formal declaration of death.

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