‘Please, get rid of the guns’: Memphis mother speaks out after 4-year-old shot

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — UPDATE 2/24/22:

Thursday night Itali Oakley’s mother, Kirby Oakley, released a picture of Itali inside Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.

Her mother says she is off the ventilator. She woke up and even asked for some water.

If you’d like to help the family, a gofundme account has been set up to help pay for her medical bills.: Itali Oakley’s Recovery Fund


Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital treated more than 17 children for gunshot wounds between January 1 and February 10.

Four-year-old Itali Oakley was rushed to Le Bonheur Friday night after someone fired shots into her family’s car.

PHOTOS: Family shares pictures of 4-year-old girl shot in Memphis

Itali remained at Le Bonheur on a ventilator Tuesday night.

Four days after the drive-by shooting, her family is pushing for answers and information from the public and Memphis police.

Itali’s mother, Kerbi Oakley, said she hasn’t left the hospital since Friday night.

She told FOX13 it all started with leaving to grab dinner. She says someone fired 3 or 4 rounds into the backseat of their car, leaving a hole about as big as her hand.

“I didn’t fail my daughter. I was taking her out to eat. Her and her father were going out to eat. We weren’t going to kill no one, to steal from no one, or hurt no one. We were going to Outback on Union to go eat,” Oakley said.

Itali was an innocent victim in it all.

“Itali was like, ‘Mom, can I go with you?’ I said, ‘Yeah, you’re going with me; we’re going to get dinner.’ She said, ‘Where we going?’, I said ‘Outback,’ she said ‘Ok, let me get my boots, go get ready.’”

Grabbing dinner after a good week — That’s how Kerbi Oakley describes Friday night before chaos erupted on South Perkins Road.

ORIGINAL STORY: 4-year-old girl shot Friday night in Memphis, police say

“Itali said, ‘Dad, it hurt,’ and touched her neck. We turned around, and blood was all in her hand. I immediately went into shock,” Oakley said.

She says a car drove up and shot into the backseat of the car she, Itali’s father, and Itali were in.

They suspect road rage, but they’re just not sure.

“By the time I could turn around with my phone in my hand, multiple shots were shot at on the side by a black tinted car, sedan. And it came this close to the car and shot multiple times. And I’m thinking they’re shooting at me, but they’re shooting in the back seat,” Oakley said.

Itali’s road to recovery will be a long one.

“Her lungs are not in good condition. She is not breathing on her, she’s on a ventilator, and she needs nitrogen at the same time. Also, Itali has a blood clot in her leg,” Oakley said.

“The surgeon that worked on Itali came in this morning and assured me that she’s going to make it. She’s just recovering very very hard after the surgery,” she said.

Oakley says the family is being patient.

“I need all prayers,” she said. “I need all prayer warriors. I need anyone that believes in God to lay hands on my child, bring my child’s name up, get on your knees and just say, ‘Take care of Kerbi and Itali,’ because that’s all I need right now.”

Oakley says along with wanting her daughter to recover speedily, she wants answers as to who and why.

“This is not gangster. This is not what you see on TV. This is not a game that you play on the XBOX. These are human lives; these are kids; that’s my baby; that’s my future,” she said.

Memphis Police say they’re looking for a dark-colored sedan. Oakley says it has tinted windows.

If you have anything that can help with the investigation, call the police department or Crime Stoppers at 901-528-CASH.