George Floyd’s niece, a 4-year-old Houston girl named Arianna, was shot in her home on New Year’s Day, her family told local reporters Tuesday.
According to her father, Arianna was sleeping in bed early Saturday morning when several bullets were fired at the family’s south side home. The girl was rushed to a nearby hospital for emergency surgery and is reportedly in stable condition as of Tuesday.
In a statement, Houston police said they have not identified a suspect, that they aren’t sure if more than one individual was responsible, and that they have not determined a motive in the shooting.
Arianna’s grand uncle was one-time Houston resident George Floyd, whose murder by Minneapolis police in 2020 stoked outrage nationwide.
What Happened to George Floyd’s Niece?
Arianna’s family told ABC 13 Houston that the 4-year-old was asleep in her bedroom at around 3 a.m. on New Year’s Day when several shots were fired into the family home.
“My daughter jumped up and said she had been hit,” her dad Derrick Delane told reporters on Tuesday. “I [saw] the blood, the bleeding, and I grabbed her.”
His daughter, he said, was struck once in the torso. The four adults and two other children in the home at the time of the attack were not harmed.
Delane said he and the girl’s mother jumped in the car and took off for the emergency room, where Arianna received emergency surgery for a punctured liver, a perforated lung, and several broken ribs.
The procedure was successful, and the 4-year-old’s condition is said to be improving as of Tuesday.
“She’s healing very fast,” her father said. “The last time I checked on her she was breathing on her own. She was doing really great.”
Delane has also said that Houston police did not arrive to the home until about 7 a.m. — nearly four hours after the child was shot.
According to one report, authorities have not officially identified the victim.
Houston Police Under Fire
Also on Tuesday, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner announced that the department has opened an internal affairs investigation into the delayed response to the shooting.
“I am aware and have concerns regarding the delayed response time in this incident and have initiated an Internal Affairs investigation,” Finner said in a statement posted to Twitter.
“I ask the city continue[s] to pray for the child’s full recovery and assist in providing information that would lead to the arrest of the suspect or suspects responsible.”
The department has not said when officers arrived at Delane’s south side home.
Authorities do not have a suspect description, and are not sure if one or more assailants were involved in the shooting.
Arianna Marched in Uncle’s Honor
According to reports, the child’s mother, Bianca, was George Floyd’s niece. Bianca’s mother LaTonya was Floyd’s sister, making Arianna his grand niece.
Arianna reportedly joined her family in May of 2020 in anti-police brutality protests after Floyd was murdered by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who knelt on Floyd’s neck for almost 10 minutes until he died from asphyxiation.
Three other Minneapolis police officers — Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng — watched Chauvin kneel on Floyd’s death and did nothing to intervene. Chauvin continued to restrain Floyd for minutes after he lost consciousness and stopped breathing, even as medical personnel arrived to help him.
Last year, Chauvin was convicted of the slaying and sentenced to more than 20 years behind bars.