By Todd Quinones
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Investigators are trying to track down the person responsible for shooting a 13-year-old girl in the eye.
She was walking home from a playground when shots were fired and she was hit with a stray bullet that nearly took her life.
As Patricia Rainey was having her left eye surgically removed, her fellow classmates were graduating 8th grade.
They all decided to write Patricia, or PJ as she’s called, letters wishing her well and telling her how much they missed her.
Her parents welcomed her home on Friday from the hospital as they try to come to grips with what happened.
“I was going to the store and I heard the shots. Her friend was coming from around the corner screaming ‘PJ got shot’ that’s the one thing in life I never wanted to hear,” her mom, Christinea Rainey, said.
Her father Chris ran around the corner from their home at 23rd and Norris streets.
“The jacket on her face, the whole jacket was red there was so much blood on the jacket. I just ran up to her and I grabbed her and I held her. She started apologizing to me for getting shot. You know it’s bad out here. She is apologizing to me from trying to avoid a bullet from these fools out here that are just throwing bullets at each other,” he said.
The shooting happened in broad daylight at around 4 Sunday afternoon, after an apparent argument between a group of young men.
“It’s careless. It’s senseless,” Christinea Rainey said.
PJ’s parents say their daughter’s spirits are high, but she has struggled at times with losing her eye.
“From the point she was in the hospital all she kept saying was she was never going outside again. She was so terrified just to be outside or hear gunshots. That’s all she talked about. She was waking up with nightmares,” Chris Rainey said.
In order to try and lift their daughter’s spirits, PJ’s parents are having a welcome home party for her Saturday afternoon at their home near 23rd and Norris Street.
They want to show their daughter, who did not want to appear on camera, just how much people care about her.