5-year-old girl shot by stray bullet in Newark

NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- A 5-year-old girl is recovering after she was shot in Newark Wednesday night.

The incident happened around 11:30 p.m. near the intersection of Treacy and Avon avenues.

Newark police say Liya Williams was walking with her father when she was struck in the leg by a stray bullet fired from a passing car.

"We was planning on having a good night, and then that happens, and it's like, wow," relative Terrel Butler said.

Family members say it happened so quickly, they thought the gunshots were fireworks. But when the sound stopped, little Liya was on the ground.

"It happened so fast, and they were so upset," neighbor Desiree Jessie said. "The only thing I could think of is my mother instincts, go take care of the baby, get them out of the way."

The investigation is ongoing, but family members say no one in their group was the intended target. They said they heard someone arguing as they approached the corner.

"When we was walking past, the guy was on the phone with someone arguing," Butler said. "'Yeah, come around here, we fight' or whatever. And then we crossed the street, and I guess the person did come around and started having a shootout."

Liya was transported to University Hospital for treatment and is expected to survive.

"Police are pursuing all leads, and anyone with information is encouraged to contact us regarding this the cowardly act," Newark Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose said.

Anyone with information is urged to call CrimeStoppers at 1-877-NWK-TIPS (1-877-695-8477) or 1-877-NWK-GUNS (1-877-695-4867).

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