4-year-old Arianna Delane was shot in her sleep when someone opened fire into her home. Investigation into the “delayed response”
It was New years day when Arianna Delane was sound asleep when she was hit by gunfire outside her apartment complex in Southwest Houston. A suspect or suspects fired several shots just a few minutes before 3 a.m. on Saturday while four adults and two children were inside, police said in a statement released three days after the incident. Arianna Delane was struck in the torso. The bullet punctured her lung, liver and broke three
ribs. “My daughter had jumped up and said she had been hit, I [saw] the blood, the bleeding, and I grabbed her,” Derrik Delane, Arianna Delane's father, said in an interview. Derrik Delane states his wife drove Arianna and himself to the hospital where she underwent surgery. Her family says that she is now in stable condition. “She’s healing very fast. The last I checked on her she was breathing on her own. She was doing really great” Derrick said. As far as knowing who fired the shots, police are still investigating. They do not know if it was one person or several people firing the shots. Police stated that there is no description of the suspect or motive in the shooting at this point.
After the news came out that Arianna was stable and safe, attention shifted to the Houston Police, who have launched an investigation of the extremely delayed response to Arianna Delane’s shooting. Derrik Delane told Eyewitness News that they were forced to drive Arianna to the hospital. “We didn’t wait… the baby had to get to the hospital. If we didn’t get her there when she did, she would have died. The doctor said that” LaTonya Floyd,
George Floyd’s older sister told the Associated Press. Derrick Delane says that police did not arrive at the apartment complex until 7 in the morning, four hours after Arianna Delane was shot. Chief Troy Finner acknowledged the delayed response and came out with a statement saying, “I am aware and have concerns regarding the delayed response time in this incident and have initiated an Internal Affairs investigation. I ask the city continue to pray for the child’s full recovery and assist in providing information that would lead to the arrest of the suspect or suspects responsible”. Houston Police then clarified that, “HPD isn't disputing that it took officers four hours or more for officers to arrive after the 911 call was made. Part of the internal affairs investigation is how long it was between
when the 911 call was placed and when HPD was notified." Union President Doug Griffith then disclosed a timeline explaining HPD’s ShotSpotter gunfire detection system had actually picked up gunfire in that area at 3 a.m.. Griffith says that police did respond immediately since the detection system notifies as a “priority 1” call. However, the initial officers did have an apartment number but did not find anyone hurt so they left. Later that morning, Arianna Delane’s shooting dropped from a priority 1 call to a priority 4, and that is when HPD arrived at the scene. Chief Griffith tells Eyewitness News that “the call-takers may have made a mistake in how they coded that and our officers had no idea”.
By: Hannah Trollope '22