Pennsylvania girl, 11, shot in face while answering knock at family home

Pennsylvania girl, 11, shot in face while answering knock at family home
An 11-year-old Pennsylvania girl was shot in the face when she answered a knock at her home late Wednesday. (Gerd Altmann/Pixabay)

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — An 11-year-old girl in Pennsylvania was shot in the face while answering a knock at the door at her family’s home late Wednesday, authorities said.

The child is expected to survive but “sustained significant facial trauma,” the Bethlehem Police Department said in a statement Thursday.

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“We do not believe this to be a random act, although the victim was likely not the intended target,” Bethlehem police Capt. Ben Hackett said in the release. “Although we are asking Bethlehem residents to be extra vigilant and to report any suspicious sightings, we do not believe there is any increased danger to the public at large.”

According to police, the girl opened the door shortly before midnight after hearing a knock, The Morning Call reported. Authorities did not say whether the child was answering the front or back door, the newspaper reported.

“We were fast asleep and we heard five gunshots in rapid order,” Marcie Lightwood, a neighbor, told WPVI.

“Some loud bangs," another neighbor, Nolan Sauerzopf, told the television station. “Didn’t know what it was it first (sounded like) a lot of firework activity in the neighborhood. It seemed like whoever did it knew what they were doing."

“Fireworks, that’s all that ever happens here that’s alarming,” Lightwood told The Express-Times of Easton. “People are friendly, people are nice. It’s a quiet, nice neighborhood.”

The shooter is possibly male and may have worn a face covering, the newspaper reported. Investigators have not released the girl’s name.