Concerns over more violence after baby shot in drive-by

Sheriff said mother is known gang associate
Posted at 6:08 PM, Aug 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-30 04:02:08-04

The Pasco Sheriff’s Office is concerned there could be more violence after Sunday night’s drive-by shooting that sent a baby girl to the hospital.

Six bullets hit the child’s crib. One of them went right through her wrist.

The Sheriff’s Office said they’ve been dealing with the Valentine Bloods gang for years in West Pasco County.

And they said those inside the Port Richey home are associated with that gang.

You can see at least ten bullet holes in the front of the house.

Many of them made it to the bedroom where the 1-year-old baby girl slept in her crib.

“There were angels in that crib with that little baby, to protect that child’s life that only one shot made it and when through. That child is still alive,” said Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco.

A neighbor’s surveillance camera caught video of a dark sedan pulling up to the house around 11:30 p.m. Sunday.

Then you see car lights go off and the car takes off down the street.

Investigators said the shooting is related to gang and drug activity.

“They could have had the wrong house. I live right across the street. That could have been my window,” said neighbor Maria Richards.

The Sheriff’s Office said the baby’s mother, Linda Exline is a known gang associate, who had another of her children taken into protective custody before.

Sheriff Nocco doesn’t buy claims that Exline is a good mother trying to turn her life around.

“She can tell whatever fairy tale she wants. She’s going to make up stories to not let the public really know the truth. The truth is that her one year old was shot because of criminal activity that surrounds that house, the people that are involved in that house,” he said.

Three other adults were in the home.

One of them was arrested for cocaine possession and her small child is now in protective custody.

Investigators don’t know who exactly the target was, but they are already hearing threats of retaliation.

“It’s very scary and very frustrating. How do I explain this that somebody and drive by and shot the house like why mommy,” said Richards.

The baby’s mother won’t be charged for what happened to the child. But she will be charged with drug possession too.

There is a $3000 reward for information leading to an arrest for the shooting.

The Sheriff says he hopes they are caught before any other innocent children are caught in the crossfire.