5-year-old girl injured in shooting at Athens dance studio to get prosthetic eye

A 5-year-old girl is having surgery to remove her eye Thursday, two weeks after it was irreparably damaged in a shooting outside an Athens dance studio.

Brittanie Wright had just dropped off her daughter Ne’vaeh Brown at the studio in a former shopping center along North Avenue on April 26 when gunfire erupted in the parking lot around 5 p.m., Channel 2 Action News reported.

Ne’vaeh and a 14-year-old girl, who was struck in the arm, were inside the studio when bullets flew through the windows. The girls were injured by projectiles that were discharged from a firearm, Athens-Clarke County police told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The following day, Gwinnett County police and the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force apprehended 38-year-old Rasheed Scott of Atlanta for his involvement in the incident, according to Athens officials. He faces charges of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

Ne’vaeh had to undergo multiple surgeries, but doctors ultimately could not save her eye, Wright wrote in a GoFundMe campaign.

The fundraiser will help cover expenses associated with long-term treatments, therapy and medical bills, including the purchase of a prosthetic eye, Wright said. They will have to wait two months after Thursday’s surgery to be fitted with the prosthetic.

“This is very hard for my whole family but we have to be strong for her,” she said. “Please keep praying for us as we go through this journey as it is new to us.”

Scott has since been transferred to the Clarke County jail, police said.

“Y’all outside arguing over what? Something that could’ve been resolved,” Wright said, addressing the alleged shooter to Channel 2. “You could’ve walked away or anything, but y’all decided to pull out the guns, something that’s deadly. And the fact that you didn’t even hit the other person that you’re arguing with and y’all hit two innocent kids. The fact that now she has to live with one eye and not being able to see ... is crazy. She’s going to be traumatized from this all her life.”

Athens-Clarke County police are asking anyone with information to contact Detective Paul Johnson at 762-400-7060 or by email at paul.johnson@accgov.com.