Sharmin Ashtaputre’s family has never really felt unsafe in their Oak Lawn Heights neighborhood in the four years they’ve lived there. But early Sunday morning, that sense of safety was shattered as bullets rained down in their daughter’s nursery.
“At 5:30 a.m. today, we were woken up by what sounded like fireworks,” Ashtaputre said. “Well, it was two moving cars shooting at each other, and they picked our street.”
“My husband and I woke up within the first couple of shots and there were over 40.”
Ashtaputre said that her first instinct was to peek in on her daughter, since her room faces the street.
“She seemed not to be bothered so I chose not to go in,” she said, adding that later she found audio where her daughter reacting to the noise.
“I have a clip from the nursery which shows my daughter screaming ‘Too loud! Too loud’ as the bullets flew past her,” she said. “Makes me shudder!”
“We called 911 and saw the whole thing unfold,” Ashtaputre said, adding that it took about 15 minutes for Dallas police to arrive.
“Had they been quicker, the two guys were hiding on our neighbor’s porch for their getaway car,” she added.
It was the officers who responded that first noticed the bullet holes in the Ashtaputres’ house, including the nursery, another bedroom and the front of the house.
“I panicked and went to her room to see one bullet lodged in the wall, and two in her door,” Ashtaputre said. “There are 10-plus shells on the street in front of my driveway.”
As Sunday morning turned into Sunday afternoon, the Ashtaputre’s began cleaning up the damage.
“We just cleaned off all the glass (in the nursery) and got a good look at the bullet holes,” she said. “I almost threw up!”
Ashtaputre said that they’ve never felt unsafe — until Sunday — in their Oak Lawn Heights neighborhood, which she describes as “transitional.”
“It’s no Highland Park, but I have never hesitated walking my dog late at night, or felt like I was not safe,” she said. “We built our house here four years ago and love the neighborhood feel in spite of being smack in the middle of Dallas.”
“I think this is so bizarre, and I can’t even trust my child is safe inside our home.”
CandysDirt.com has reached out to Dallas police for comment on the incident and will update this story as more information is available.