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7-year-old shot in face while traveling on Tennessee highway; Gunman at large

ANTIOCH, Tenn. (WKRN) – A 7-year-old girl was critically injured after being shot in the face when two cars were hit by gunfire on Interstate 24 Saturday night.

It happened in the westbound lanes of I-24 near the Hickory Hollow Parkway exit at 10:40 p.m.

According to witnesses, the gunman fired shots while hanging outside the front passenger window.

A passenger in one of the cars says they were driving home from a Walmart in Smyrna when they heard several booming noises.

They didn’t realize what happened at first, but they pulled over when they saw that 7-year-old Kayla Velazquez, who was sitting in the backseat, was injured. The child was struck by a round that hit her in the cheek and then exited through her nose.

She was transported to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital with critical injures. She was released from the hospital on Sunday.

The occupants of the second car hit by bullets included a couple and their 8-month-old baby. They were not hurt.

According to police, none of the victims reported any type of incident before the shooting.

The suspected vehicle was described by Metro police as a white Ford four-door sedan.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers at 615-74-CRIME.

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