HAYWARD -- The parents of a 10-year-old girl shot as she slept in her bed this week told police they did not report the shooting until more than five hours after it happened because they thought she started her first period.

The girl was shot once in the buttocks at 2 a.m. on Thursday after someone fired multiple rounds into her family's home in the 27800 block of Tampa Avenue, but police said the shooting was not reported until 7:35 a.m.

She remained hospitalized in stable condition on Friday, said Lt. Mark Stuart. Police don't have a motive and no arrest has been made. No one else in the home -- her two sisters, ages 15 and 23, and an 8-month-old brother -- were injured.

Police tape remains at the scene of a shooting that injured a girl as she slept early Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013 in hayward.  (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)
Police tape remains at the scene of a shooting that injured a girl as she slept early Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013 in hayward. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)

The girl's 42-year-old father and 43-year-old mother they told officers that they didn't know a barrage of bullets had hit one of the cars in their driveway and their home. One bullet entered a front bedroom of the home and struck their sleeping daughter.

"They said they heard a popping noise, but didn't know they were gunshots," Stuart said of the parents' account. "So they didn't know their daughter was shot because they did not go into her room."

Shortly after the shooting, the girl came out and told family members that she "felt a pain and burning sensation in her lower extremities," Stuart said.

The girl had blood on her clothing so her family thought she started her first menstrual cycle because she was bleeding vaginally, Stuart said.


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When they took their daughter into the bathroom to care for her needs, there was no indication she had been shot in the buttocks, police said.

"An older sister gave her a pad and told her to put it on and go back to bed," Stuart said.

When she woke up for school in the morning she was still in pain, because the bullet was lodged in her pelvic area, police said.

When her parents examined her more closely they saw she had a wound on her buttocks, police said. They then went to the bedroom, inspected the bed and noticed the bullet holes near the girl's bed.

That is when the 15-year-old sister called 911, police said.

Police said when they arrived at the home they found the girl "in good spirits." She was taken to a hospital, where she was set to undergo surgery and on Friday remained in stable condition Stuart said.

A doctor who examined the girl told police that the size of the girl's bullet's entry wound was "rather small" and that the parents' explanation was credible, Stuart said.

"The doctor said that if that's what they were seeing and they never initially saw the entry wound from behind, that it's plausible to believe it was a period as opposed to being shot."

Because of the doctor's conclusion, police on Friday said they're not seeking child neglect charges against the girl's parents, but that the incident remained under investigation.

No one in the family's neighborhood, where police said there has been gang activity, called 911 to report hearing the shots fired, police said. Later, some neighbors told this newspaper they heard popping sounds about 2 a.m. but looked outside, saw nothing unusual and went back to bed.

On Friday, Stuart said one person who lived several streets away reported hearing shots fired about 2 a.m., but when officers responded to that area they found no evidence of a shooting.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact Hayward police at 510-293-7034.

Contact Natalie Neysa Alund at 510-293-2469. Follow her at Twitter.com/nataliealund.