CINCINNATI -- A 3-year-old girl wounded by gunfire was not hit by a stray bullet from a gun battle, Cincinnati police said Thursday as they accused her mother and a male friend of misleading investigators.
The adults initially said the man was carrying the girl outside while taking out the trash when she was struck by a bullet on Tuesday.
However, the mother later acknowledged they created a false account of what happened based on gunfire that had been reported in the area, police said in a statement.
Police did not disclose what they believe actually happened.
Investigators said the girl's mother, Ebony McDavis, 28, is charged with misdemeanor falsification. Her friend Cordero Warren, 24, is charged with evidence tampering and having weapons under disability, both felonies.
Court records did not list attorneys for McDavis or Warren as of Thursday.
Police said more charges may be filed as the investigation continues.
Cincinnati's new police chief, frustrated by a "no snitches" tradition among some residents, had earlier asked people to help police and their community by coming forward with information about a reported gunbattle in which the child was allegedly wounded by a stray bullet.
"It's senseless, and a 3-year-old girl doesn't have a voice," Chief Jeffrey Blackwell said Wednesday. "I'm angry today as the police chief that this type of violence is happening. When it affects children, it affects me personally."
Police initially said the girl was wounded about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday amid a series of shots fired in the Avondale neighborhood. At the time of the shooting, there had been several 911 calls regarding shots fired in the area, but they were not related to the child's injury, police said in their statement Thursday.
Police say the child's condition has stabilized, after she was hospitalized in critical condition.
There was a $2,000 reward offered for information in the case.
Blackwell, who came from Columbus Police three months ago to take over Cincinnati's department, pledged to the community that those involved will be held responsible.
"I have a responsibility to this community to keep it as safe as I can," he said.