MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - The nine-year-old Escatawpa girl shot over the weekend in the throat is now in stable condition in the hospital. People from across the coast have been praying for her recovery, including at her elementary school, where students have found a special way to show just how much they miss her.
When teachers and students returned to Moss Point Kreole Primary Elementary School Monday, a second grade girl was missing from class. Her teachers and principal admit her absence was heartbreaking.
"I am used to seeing her every morning coming in for breakfast and she would say, 'Good morning Mrs. Payton,'" said Principal LaJeuna Payton.
"She is very helpful and she has the best penmanship I have ever seen," teacher Ashley Hatcher recalled.
"She is a very quiet child, very nurturing and she loves to help in the classroom," the girl's teacher Tujuana Likely said.
The nine-year-old was shot in her throat Saturday on Riverbend Road in Escatawpa, then rushed to the hospital.
"I saw her family and they were very distraught," Likely said.
Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell said from his preliminary investigation, the shooting appeared to be a terrible accident.
"We had the counselors come in and talk with the children. This is a delicate situation and you don't know how they are going to react," Likely said.
To help the students turn their sadness into hope, they spent time making homemade get well soon cards in class. From crayon messages to colorful stickers, each card had its own special touch.
"We will be delivering those first hand on Wednesday. The students are concerned and we are a family," said Payton.
The school family is praying one of their own can return to class happy and healthy again. The school is in the beginning stages of planning a fundraiser to help the nine-year-old and her family during this tough time. The investigation has been completed and all evidence is being sent to a grand jury.