5-Year-Old Girl Shot Dead While Sitting on Grandfather's Lap at Home

A 5-year-old girl from Milwaukee was reportedly fatally shot by two intruders while sitting on her grandfather's lap in their living room.

Laylah Petersen was hit in the head with one of about a dozen bullets that were allegedly shot through the family's home at around 6 p.m. Thursday, according to police. Laylah was sitting on the couch with her grandfather watching television when she was shot. She was pronounced dead at the hospital a short time later -- and police are reportedly "befuddled" as to the motive behind this horrific shooting.


Laylah and her grandfather, Robert Petersen, were at home together when two people reportedly approached their house and fired at it. Five bullets struck and broke the window and five more hit above and below the window. The one that struck little Layla actually pierced through a wall.

Layla and another sibling were reportedly being raised by their grandparents, whom police called a "stable, loving, working family in a stable working-class neighborhood." They have no idea what the motive is in this crime or why these two suspects targeted this family. They hadn't received any suspicious phone calls prior to this, nor has Petersen reported involvement with anyone who caused him alarm.

Police suggested the suspects mistakenly targeted Petersen's home. No other house in their neighborhood was affected in the shooting.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is offering a $5,000 award for information leading up to the arrest and conviction of the suspects in this case.

What do you think happened here and why did the suspects shoot this family's home?


Image via Daniel Oines/Flickr

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