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Girl, 5, shot in cheek as family drives on South L.A. street

June 15, 2010 |  9:18 pm

A 5-year-old girl riding in the back seat of her parents' vehicle was shot in the left cheek Tuesday evening in South Los Angeles, police said.

At least 41 homicides have taken place within one mile of Tuesday's shooting near Hooper and 55th St. Click to learn more on The Times' interactive Homicide Report The girl was in stable condition at a local hospital, the Los Angeles Police Department said.

Police said several shots rang out about 5 p.m. as the father drove north on Hooper Avenue near 55th Street.

"The girl started screaming," LAPD Officer Karen Rayner said.  The father turned around and saw that his daughter was wounded, she said. He drove her to a hospital.

The girl was in the rear middle seat. Her father and mother were in the front seat.

Police had not determined a motive or apprehended any suspects. Anyone with information is asked to call 877-LAPD 24-7.

[Update 11:30 p.m.: Since January 2007, at least 41 homicides have occurred within one mile of the location where the girl was wounded Tuesday, according to data collected for The Times' interactive Homicide Report.]

-- Robert J. Lopez