2-year-old struck by bullet; Parents give update on child’s status

Local

A Johnson County family is searching for answers after their 2-year-old was struck by a stray bullet. 

Christina Salaices said she was at work Friday when she got a phone call that turned her world upside down.

“911 called me to tell me that I needed to call home, so I did and they told me they were flying her out to Johnson City…at that time I didn’t know what was going on,”  Salaices said. “All I know is she fell, what I got out of all of it and I thought maybe she was just going for stiches.”

The reason Salaices got that phone call on Friday was because a stray bullet hit her 2-year-old daughter, Ariel Salaices, as she was playing on a playset in her own backyard.

Christina said that bullet hit the back of her head after it ricocheted off of a metal post on that playset. 

Johnson County Sheriff Eddie Tester confirmed with News Channel 11 on Sunday that this incident is still under investigation as they work to determine where that bullet came from.

After Ariel was flown to the Johnson City Medical Center for treatment Friday, Christina said it wasn’t long before they transported her to Knoxville.

The family was still in the hospital in Knoxville Sunday as News Channel 11’s Kristen Gallant video chatted with Christina.

Christina said Ariel’s brother screamed for help as their father stood just feet away from where it happened. 

“If it wasn’t for him and my husband, she probably wouldn’t have had a chance. She had fell off the playground set, walked to the stairs, and then collapsed in front of him,”Salaices said.

As Ariel continues to be treated in Knoxville, her family is asking anyone with information to contact police.

“If anybody knows anything, alert the local police where we live because we need to find out who did this,” Salaices said. 

An online fundraiser has also been set up as the family continues to stay in Knoxville where Ariel is being treated for her injures. 

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