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Man arrested, accused of drive-by shooting that injured 11-year-old girl

Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 7:19 AM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Wichita police arrested 25-year-old Byron Purcell on Thursday. He’s accused of shooting an 11-year-old girl during a drive-by in east Wichita this week.

Purcell faces 11 counts, including four counts of aggravated assault and the use of a deadly weapon. Among Purcell’s other charges are aggravated battery, criminal possession of a firearm and criminal discharge of a firearm.

The shooting occurred early Tuesday morning in the 1400 block of E. Harding. Police arrived on the scene to find out McKayla had been shot in her sleep. She was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, but a bullet was lodged between the girl’s L4 and L5 vertebrae.

Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay said Purcell is believed to have been targeting someone else inside the home where McKayla was sleeping. He said he’s unsure if this incident is gang-related but said Purcell was a parolee. He said it’s an issue he sees often, repeat offenders committing violent crimes.

“We’re trying to break that pattern and slow these things down. And we are seeing some of that. We aren’t doing that alone, we’ve got a lot of partners, agencies and community groups who are also working to try and keep youth busy with activities and interrupt those who are heading down the wrong path,” said the chief.

As for McKayla, her family describes her as bright and bubbly and an aspiring YouTuber.

Her family said she is doing better but will be in the hospital for several more weeks. While the 11-year-old is up and walking now, family members said they will still need some help with her long recovery. A GoFundMe to help with those expenses.

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