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Waterville Child Recovering From Apparent Drive-By Shooting

WATERVILLE, Maine - Maine State Police and investigators in Waterville say the shooting incident which left a seven-year old child injured Friday afternoon was, apparently, a drive-by shooting.

The child had recently returned home from school and was struck from inside her family's second floor apartment on the corner of Gold and Summer Streets Friday afternoon.

"Someone shot — most likely from a vehicle — shot inside the home and struck this little girl as she was playing inside her bedroom," Maine Public Safety Spokesperson Steven McCausland said on Saturday.

Waterville police describe the block as a regular area of patrol, but it's not clear if the shooting was an isolated incident, accidental or targeted to the family.

"This investigation really is wide open this weekend," says McCausland. "This is not the first drive-by shooting that Waterville police have attended. At this point there's no connection with any prior incident, but we haven't eliminated any possibilities either," he says. 

The child was taken initially to the Thayer Center for Health in Waterville, then taken by Life Flight to Maine Medical Center in Portland for treatment of serious injuries, but authorities said Saturday that the girl's condition appears to be slowly improving.
A GoFundMe page created by the child's mother, Davina Petchonka,  indicates that her daughter has undergone surgery and other procedures, and was "ok but not out of the water." 

McCausland says the investigation is seeking information from the public.

"Whether they may have seen a vehicle speeding away from the scene, whether they saw someone in the general area that was suspiciou — many times the public is really helpful in these kinds of situations as we continue to investigate and seek answers."