Two cousins were said to be improving from their gunshot wounds Thursday as their community rallied and called for an end to violence in the neighborhood.
The condition of 12-year-old Arianna Quiroz, recovering at Comer Children's Hospital, was upgraded from critical to serious condition. Her cousin, Selena Quiroz, 11, is expected to be released soon from Advocate Christ Medical Center.
"I spent part of the day with mom at Arianna's bedside," said Bishop Tavis Grant, the family's pastor. "She's responding as mom has been calling her name, and that's all positive."
The pair were hospitalized after being shot while playing video games in their East Chicago, Ind., home.
Roughly two dozen people marched Thursday in protest over growing violence in the community. Protesters honored Arianna and Selena with pink ribbons and prayed for their continued recovery.
“We just want to come out to support this family, this whole community in prayer and put the guns down and stop all the violence because it’s just getting so unbearable,” said Pansey Deberry.
The shooting was first believed to be a drive-by, but the FBI continues to investigating whether or not the house was targeted.
"I pray that at some point, you know, that whoever did this vicious crime to these children will come forth,” said protester Michael Monagan.
Both girls are in the fifth grade at Benjamin Franklin Elementary.