A 7-year-old girl was being praised as a hero for saving her 22-month-old sister's life after a stray bullet struck their family's car in Oakland on Thursday, ABC affiliate KGO-TV reported.
The girl's mother, who asked that she not be named, told police she had parked her car in East Oakland just before noon to consult her GPS when the shots rang out.
The mother said she reached back to check on the toddler and saw blood coming from her back. That's when she asked her 7-year-old daughter, who was also in the car, to apply pressure to the wound while she raced to the hospital.
Residents near the crime scene describe the chaos that broke out when the shooting occurred.
"It was like four or five [shots] and then a pause, and then like another four," said neighbor Claire Stanley. "Right after the last gunshot I heard a car peeling away."
Family members of the girl said that two cars were shooting at each other and the girl got caught in the crossfire.
The little girl was in stable condition after undergoing surgery on Thursday night.
"I can let you know she is stable. And, we just ask for prayers. We're holding up fine," a member of the girl's family said.
Oakland police say they are still investigating what happened.
"That's my child too that got shot, that little girl," said community activist Daryle Albums. "They're crying. I'm crying. I mean we're all in this together."
ABC News' Rachel Katz contributed to this report.