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Grandmother: Wounded girl ‘a miracle’ since deadly shooting

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A 7-year-old girl wounded in the head during a St. Louis shooting that killed her parents and another man has brain damage but is showing signs of improvement in a hospital, her grandmother says.

Nearly four weeks since the shooting, Deniya Irving can move an arm and leg, cry and tries to talk, Lawanda Griffin told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/2umuuzK ).

“She’s a fighter,” Griffin, 46, said Wednesday, when surgeons replaced a bone that had been removed from the girl’s skull due to swelling. “She is progressing well. This is just a miracle, even though she has a long way to go.

“We would have never thought she would have been progressing like this,” Griffin added. “She looks at you when you talk to her.”

Deniya was shot in the back of the head June 2 when a gunman opened fire on the car in which she was riding. Her parents, 27-year-old Derrick Irving and 24-year-old Jessica Garth, were killed, along with 37-seven-year-old Julian Hayes. Deniya’s younger sister, who was also in the car, was not injured.

Prosecutors have charged Jerome Leon Buress Jr., 28, with three first-degree murder counts and at least 10 other felony counts. Authorities have not released additional details, including what may have prompted the shooting. Buress is jailed without bond.

“I’m just ready to start the court process,” Griffin said. “I’m going to be there every single day. I want to let them know about how they have taken my family away.”

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com

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