AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– A 9-year-old boy is recovering after he was shot at East Augusta Commons Wednesday.

According to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, a few kids were playing with a gun inside an apartment. The gun went off and the child was hit in the leg.  

Melinda Johnson was on her front porch when she heard the shot fired.

“We was looking around to see where it was. It sounded like a little pop. Little boy running out the door, you could see the blood shooting out. He was calling his mom. He said, ‘Help me, help me.’ So I went over there and helped him,” Johnson said.

Johnson recounted the terror, still with blood on her clothes.

She says she made a makeshift tourniquet for the boys leg and tried to stop the bleeding.

“He just kept falling back. He said, ‘I’m tired.’ No, I know you’re not supposed to lay down and go to sleep. Not when you’re bleeding like that,” Johnson said.

She and the responding deputies did their best to comfort the boy while they waited for an ambulance.

“The police asked him, ‘Do you believe in God?’ He said, ‘Yes, sir I do.’ I said, ‘All you’ve got do is pray,'” Johnson said.

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office says the little boy will be okay. Johnson says he’s lucky to be alive.

“You pointing a gun and you think the safety is on? The safety is not on. Now what if that boy would have shot him in the chest? Ain’t nothing I could’ve did because it would have killed him because he was so little,” Johnson said.

Johnson sells ice-cream to local children, and says some days she lets them work with her and earn their own money.

She says it’s her way to keep kids off the streets and teach them to work hard. But she says a rise in gun violence is getting between neighborhood kids and the futures she hopes they’ll have.

“Kids shouldn’t play with guns. If parents got guns, they need to put them in lock boxes and keep them away from kids. Kids think they’re toys, they’re not toys,” Johnson said.