PLEASANTVILLE—Olga Ceron thought a rock hit her foot Wednesday morning as she was lying on the couch holding her 8-month-old grandson.

Instead, it was a bullet that went through the wall of her home on South Franklin Boulevard.

"I was laying down with the baby on the couch. And he was almost going to sleep on top of me and then I felt something that hit me so hard,” said Ceron, 48, who laid on her couch Wednesday afternoon recovering from the wound. “After that it was like ‘bam. bam’ and I went to the floor with the baby," Ceron, 48, said as she laid on her couch Wednesday afternoon recovering from the gunshot.

"I was scared. After that there were like two more shots,” she said.

In the wall above the couch was a small hole where the bullet entered and eventually struck her.

After she fell to the floor to protect her grandson, she stood up and looked out the window to see police officers in the street in front of her home, she said.

She said her grandson David was not injured.

Just after the shots were fired, police cordoned off a large area near West Washington Avenue. believing the shooter was still in the area, Pleasantville Police Capt. Matthew Hartman said.

Police from Northfield, Egg Harbor Township and the Atlantic County Sheriff's Office were called, but the suspect has not been located.

The preliminary investigation indicates the incident may have been an exchange of gunfire between someone in a vehicle and a pedestrian, according to the report.

Ceron was treated at the scene for injury, but declined going to the hospital, said Pleasantville Police Capt. Matthew Hartman.

Wednesday afternoon, Ceron sat up and pulled her sock down and a bandage, exposing a red abrasion on the top of her foot.

She touched it gently and grimaced.

"It's sore," she said.

Ceron said she has lived at the home for 23 years, raised her children there and always felt safe—until Wednesday morning.

"No more. There's a lot of changes here. It's getting worse in here, there's no more safety here. I've been here 23 years and nothing like that ever happened," she said.

Mayor Jesse Tweedle said the individuals involved in shootings like this don't understand the ramifications of their behavior and the impact it has on business in the city and people coming to live in Pleasantville.

Tweedle said for someone to shoot during broad daylight they have no regard for human life. He said these are the kind of people law enforcement are trying to get off the street.

"If this is what they will do in broad daylight what will they do at night? Shooting like this a block and a half from the police department, in broad daylight and the woman was holding a baby and those things are all very disturbing and very frustrating," he said.

Tweedle said the Franklin Boulevard area where the shooting occurred is an area that has a focus of city officials and law enforcement. He said this incident will ramp up those efforts.

Police Chief Sean Riggin said the shooters involved in these incidents are preying on a community they know is already having trouble.

"To engage in a shooting in the middle of the day it sends a message they just don't care and their recklessness is something needs to be dealt with," Riggin said.

Riggin said to address the gun violence in the area it will take more than just Pleasantville Police.

"We need to get everyone together, not just Pleasantville. Those partnerships are already at the table from surrounding law enforcement agencies," Riggin said.

Riggin also pointed to the need for the ShotSpotter gunshot-audio detection system in the city to speed up response time to shootings.

The system would cost the city $560,000, which would cover the cost of the system's operation for three years. Atlantic City Police Department uses the ShotSpotter system that uses sensors to triangulate sounds and determine whether they are gunshots or some other noise. The system then alerts officers to the location of gunshots.

Baby David's mother, 27-year-old Enidmarie Carias, said she was at work when the bullet struck her mother.

"I don't know what to think. Your mind goes blank, your heart drops and you just hope for the best," Carias said as she sat with David and her 4-year-old daughter Leila.

Carias said she didn't learn immediately what happened because her family didn't want her to panic.

"I ended up calling her on lunch and she didn't answer three times so I called again and she finally answered so I came right away," she said.

"There were no problems here before. We grew up here nothing like that ever happened in this area so that's ridiculous," Carias said. Leila kissed her brother's forehead.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 609-641-6100. Information may also be called in anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 609-652-1234.

Staff Writer Lynda Cohen contributed to this report.

Contact: 609-513-6686

Twitter @ACPressWeaver

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Reporter covering courts and crime

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