Barbara Davidson of the Los Angeles Times spent two years documenting the struggles of innocent victims of gang violence in Los Angeles County. Her photographs were honored with four different awards in the Pictures of the Year International competition, as well as the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography. One of Davidson's subjects was Erica Miranda, who was struck by three bullets outside her home in Compton, Calif. Davidson made this photograph of the young girl at the hospital as she was recovering from surgery.
Here, in her own words, Davidson tells the story behind the picture:
Three bullets tore into 10-year-old Erica Miranda's back, knee and hip while she was playing basketball outside her home. A young man walked up to a crowded street corner in Compton, pulled out a handgun and started shooting.
"I realized I was shot when my leg started burning and I saw holes in my leg. I was just crying, hoping that the ambulance would hurry up and come," Erica said.
Los Angeles County sheriff's investigators believe a 17-year-old relative of Erica's stepfather was the intended target. Both men were shot three times and survived.
Erica will not be paralyzed, doctors say. But there is significant nerve damage in her right leg. At the hospital, Erica underwent surgery on her large intestine, where one of the bullets had lodged. The operation was successful, although it left her with a colostomy bag taped to her abdomen. Erica's mother, Shameka Harris, had to adjust to all of her daughter's medical needs, including changing her colostomy bag on the living room couch.
"This is the first time I have ever had to do something like this," Harris said. "I don't know how I'm going to get through all of this. I just feel that it should have been me instead of my kid.
"I just felt that she didn't deserve it, and to see her in the hospital, seeing her in bed, to see her at her weakest, ... it was hard."
The young man accused of the shooting did not go to jail after the trial because of a hung jury. Harris and daughter Erica, who is back in school, live in fear, not knowing if the accused will seek retaliation on the family because Erica testified at the trail.