'It's opened our eyes' | Community calls for change after 7-year-old shot in Charlotte

Brown said there was still daylight when the shooting happened and that Zionna was just feet away from her doorstep.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The grandmother of 7-year-old Zionna who was shot in crossfire last week is revealing new details into what happened to her granddaughter.

Zionna’s grandmother, Chandra Brown, said Zionna was shot in her chest and the bullet traveled through her rib cage.

“This didn’t have to happen,” Brown said. “I mean you saw these kids outside playing, come on now.”

Brown said there was still daylight when the shooting happened and that Zionna was just feet away from her doorstep.

“She was down there playing with her neighbor and her neighbor was standing beside her when she got shot,” Brown said.

Brown said her neighbor is younger than Zionna is.

“She was only 4-years-old,” Brown said.

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Brown said Zionna ran towards her home screaming to her mother that her chest hurt and that her mother thought she’d been stung by a bee – until she lifted her shirt and saw bleeding.

“She called me frantic,” Brown said. “I jumped out of bed, I think we beat the ambulance to the hospital.”

Brenda Stevenson, pastor of New Christian Outreach Center said she was heartbroken to hear the news.

“It’s opened our eyes,” Stevenson said. “We’ve been sleeping too long. It’s time to wake up.”

Stevenson said it has become clear the youth need more guidance. One of the suspects arrested in Zionna’s shooting was only 17-years-old.

“Now, they don’t fight with their hands, they’re fighting with guns,” Stevenson said. “So it’s time for a change.”

It’s why she’s holding an emergency meeting at the New Outreach Christian Center for the surrounding communities to make an action plan on how to stop the violence.

“It’s time to move,” Stevenson said. “If we want things to be better, then we got to get involved and make it better.”

RELATED: Violence in NW Charlotte area ‘has just spiraled out of control,’ resident says

CMPD said over 110 people have been shot this year, and gun-related assault with a deadly weapon is up over 30% from this time last year.

Stevenson said she wants to focus on the youth.

“We need to keep the youth busy to keep them out of trouble, they need to know that we care,” Stevenson said.

Stevenson said the meeting will address creating programs for youth and working with police to establish a neighborhood watch.

“So we can know the laws and what to look out for,” Stevenson said. “We need to talk. What solutions, what ideas do we have?”

If you’d like to help Zionna and her family, you can contact Chandra Brown at 704-904-4421.

New Outreach Christian Center is located at 3900 Gossett Ave, and the event is from 7-8 p.m. There will be free dinner and groceries handed out.