Community reacts to 4-year-old shooting

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BRADENTON, FL---A four-year-old boy shot this weekend continues to recover.  The boy was hit in the head by a stray bullet and as he tries to recover neighbors now say they're worried about their safety.

"I heard the noise from the gun, the gun shots and also heard the police. I was very, very nervous, I got very scared, " Patricia Sazeila.

She is one of many residents along 36th Ave West who heard the shots around 11 am Saturday morning.  Officials from Manatee County Sheriff's office say about 8 rounds were fired from one car intended for another car driving on the road.  But, one of those bullets entered the home on the 2600 block of 36th Ave West.

"The boy was just innocently in his house sitting on his bed and one of the bullets went through the window, struck a headboard, and then struck the boy," said Dave Bristow with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

The child was taken to All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg and according to those in contact with the family, the child is in stable condition.

"The bullet has traveled to some extent through the child's brain and exited somewhere else in the child's head.  The child is now blind in one eye, apparently that blinding is permanent.  We do not know what other brain injuries might have resulted," said Rev Sichta a pastor at the Congregational United Church of Christ.  The church owns the property where the child was shot.  Sichta says the child could be in the hospital for at least a month.

But while those close to the family wait for updates officials say they're following tips. Including one that has led them to Horation Papillion, as a person of interest.

"We want to talk to him and we can't get a hold of him so were putting it out there that anyone who knows him have him get a hold of us," added Bristow.

In the meantime residents say the situation has left them on edge.

"I couldn't sleep and one of my kids is very worried and he was telling me he don't want to be by the window anymore and I don't want to be in my room anymore," said Sazeila.

Representatives from Congregational United Church of Christ say those wanting to donate to the family should contact them.