FORT PIERCE, Fla. – A neighborhood sits on edge just a few days after a toddler was shot at her home on Avenue E in Fort Pierce.
Police tell us that two-year-old Ma’Kelia Burkes is still listed in critical condition as of Friday.
That shooting investigation is one of three that police are working on this week.
Many say they are bracing for the next round of bullets.
“It’s hard to walk around and not look over your shoulder just in case, and you shouldn’t have to do that in your own neighborhood,” says resident Charlotte Morganson.
Morganson has been living here for years, and says what happened Monday goes beyond the usual violence she’s seen.
“I used to say ‘Oh, it’s not that bad, if you’re not involved in certain things, if you’re not involved in drugs then no one messes with you’,” she says. “But this was a 2 year old girl.”
Since Monday, she’s noticed the increased police patrol in the neighborhood, something she’s grateful for.
Even so, once those streetlights come on…
“We’re inside, we keep the doors locked,” she says. “If we go out, we make sure it’s not alone.”
She’s not the only one who’s concerned.
Debbie Hansen says the violence has been so unsettling, many food delivery drivers she knows are afraid to do their jobs, much less after dark.
“Driving into that neighborhood while another retaliation is going on…you could be the next passerby that’s getting hit,” Hansen says.
A driver for Goodfellas Pizza, she says right now her restaurant is one of a few that will deliver there.
“People are just like anyone else, they want their dinner,” she says. “There are plenty of wonderful people out there.”
Morganson says when it comes to the violence, there may be no end in sight.
“Sadly I think it’s gonna start to become the norm.”
Police have upped the reward for information leading to who shot Ma’Kelia from $1,000 to $5,000 dollars.
If you have any information on the shooting, you may call call Detective Jesse Streeter at 772-467-6911 or Crime Stoppers at 800-273-TIPS – and of course, you can remain anonymous.