Witnesses recall seeing children unsupervised, playing with BB guns at playground where child was shot

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Sources tell us that the little girl made it through surgery last night but is in as they described it, very critical condition.

There are lots of stories swirling around about why this shooting happened, from it was a disagreement over some gum, to the boy didn't know the gun was real -- details the police and prosecutor's office are trying to sort out.

It is a tragedy that has crushed even the most tender hearts of this community.

"This is for her because she got shotted and then I wanted to give her a teddy bear," said Raniya Epps.

Raniya Epps left one of her favorite stuffed animals on the playground for her 7-year-old friend. This 5-year-old knows her buddy was shot and is in bad shape.

It is something many in the Blue Valley Court townhouses say is something children visiting the growing tribute should not have to deal with at such a tender age.

Rena Harris

"Guns was going to get into the wrong hands and kids was going to find them," said Rena Harris.

Harris lives just across the street from where the shooting happened. After the bang, she ran outside to see what was going on, never expecting to see a child shot in the spot where they usually play.

"The baby was laying on the ground and the mama was holding her and talking to her and praying over her," Harris recalled.

"Kids running all over the place. No parental anywhere, just kids running around playing," said Brittany Turner.

Brittany Turner

Turner describes something we saw firsthand while at the Blue Valley Court townhouses -- children running around unsupervised -- which is how she said the packed playground was when the 7-year-old girl was shot by the 7-year-old boy.

"The mother allows the child to kind of run wherever. I have witnessed him playing with BB guns," Turner said. "I have seen a lot of little kids, I mean there are times I drop my sister off and there's kids shooting each other with BB guns like it's normal."

Folks who live here say there are too many guns around too many children, and it was just a matter of time before their playground game became a real life tragedy.