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The scene of the shooting. Photo via Polk County Sheriff's Office

After she was shot multiple times, Aubry Gleason told her family, "I played dead and I prayed."

Now, her family is asking the community for support after the 11-year-old was shot in her Lakeland home along with four family members who were killed on Sunday.

  • Her father was among those killed by a man police said had no connection to the family.
  • Both sides of Aubry's family have posted GoFundMe campaigns, one for funeral costs and the other for her medical bills and family expenses.
  • Family members confirmed Aubry's identity to Axios. Police did not release her name or the names of other family members who were killed, citing Marsy's Law.

What's next: Aubry, a student at Lake Gibson Middle School, was taken to Tampa General Hospital in critical condition, but her family told Axios she is stabilized and recovering.

  • Members of her family posted that Aubry has a broken leg and 11 gunshot wounds, mostly below the waist.
  • She's had four surgeries and is receiving blood transfusions, relative Daylon Patterson posted in the family's GoFundMe.
  • Aubry will need to stay in the hospital for several months, but she is awake and is able to talk, read and write, Fox 13 reports.
"Even through this tragedy, somehow this little girl still manages to smile. She does find herself questioning what happened at times. She also finds herself breaking down at the reality that her father is gone. She doesn’t understand how any of this can happen or even why it happened and I’m not sure any of us will ever know the answers."
Aubry's family member, via a GoFundMe update

The bottom line: Patterson posted that Aubry wants the world to know "how much [she is] going to miss the best daddy in the world."

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Go deeper

Sep 15, 2021 - News

North Port influencer’s disappearance goes national

Grand Teton National Park. Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Major national and international news outlets are now reporting on the disappearance of a young adventurer from North Port who was last seen in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park.

What we know: In July, 22-year-old Gabby Petito and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, set out from the East Coast on a road trip in the couple’s Ford Transit van to visit national parks across the West.

  • She documented much of the #vanlife journey through Colorado and Utah on her Instagram and Youtube accounts.

Yes, but: Her Instagram post on Aug. 25 and a few subsequent texts were the last her family heard from her.

  • No one has reported communicating with her since Aug. 30.
20 mins ago - World

Hispanic Heritage Month: Peru feeds the world

A potato farmerholds a varity of native potato at a local market in Lima on May 31, 2017. Photo: ERNESTO BENAVIDES/AFP via Getty Images

Potato, potahtoh. Tomato, tomahtoh. It’s a debate we owe to Peru, the third-largest country in South America, which gave the world its native potatoes and tomatoes among other foods.

Why it matters: Ancient Peruvians developed and planted thousands of crops, including quinoa, tomatoes, corn and potatoes — which are only indigenous to the Andes in South America. The Spanish then exported these crops around the world at a time when famine was common from Europe to Russia. Smithsonian Magazine credits Peru's potatoes with making the rise of the West possible.

Senate offices to close ahead of "Justice for J6" demonstration

Security fencing outside the U.S. Capitol ahead of a planned "Justice for J6" rally in Washington, D.C.. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Multiple congressional offices will be closed Friday amid security precautions ahead of Saturday's rally in support of jailed Jan. 6 rioters, aides who have been instructed to work remotely tell Axios.

Why it matters: As the U.S. Capitol faces its first large-scale security test since the deadly attack, House and Senate offices are taking precautionary measures to protect staff as well as lawmakers.