Thought to be dead in quadruple shooting, 7-year-old making prog -

Thought to be dead in quadruple shooting, 7-year-old making progress in recovery

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Deniya Irving (Credit: Family) Deniya Irving (Credit: Family)
ST. LOUIS, Mo. ( -

Her family thought she was dead. Now, after a month in critical condition, a 7-year-old is making strides in her recovery.

Deniya Irving's family told News 4 that last Friday the girl began breathing on her own. In fact, Irving was even moving her arms again. 

All of this progress follows a quadruple shooting that occurred on June 1. It was a shooting that claimed the lives of Irving's mother and father. Back then, the family thought they had lost Irving to the shooting as well. But then they later told News 4 that the girl had not died and was brain dead. 

Her grandmothers, Andrea Cunningham and Lawanda Griffin, have been by her side since the shooting on June 1.

“The doctors did tell us she wasn't going to make it,” said Griffin. Now, “she's doing much better," said Cunningham.

She is still listed in critical condition, even though it was a surprising change of prognosis for Irving.

“The report was given to us by the doctors that have worked with her and they were saying they didn't think she would make it," said Cunningham.

“Deniya is a strong little girl with prayer she is going to make this, she is going to come out of this," said Griffin.

 Both grandmothers are astounded at Irving’s sudden recovery in recent days.

"She did move around as far as arms. She does have arm movement. But, it could be just reflex,” said Cunningham.

The suspect, Jerome Buress, remains in jail and is accused of shooting Irving’s mother, father and a third man at Lillian and Beacon in north St. Louis.

Police tell News 4 they are looking for other suspects. Irving’s grandmothers say they just do not know why this happened.

"It makes me angry enough to want to be there the day of his execution," said Griffin.

At this time it is not clear how much of a recovery Irving will make. On the day of the shooting, Irving’s 5-year-old sister was in the car next to her and the grandmothers said she is traumatized.

The shooting that killed Irving's parents was the first of three quadruple shootings that occurred in the city over a four-day span.

Following the shooting, Irving's aunt Erica Cunningham had a message for the killer.

"What would you do if this was your daughter?" Cunningham said. "How would you feel? That's the question I really want the killers to answer to my family." 

Police told News 4 people that knew something about the shooting may have been too afraid to come forward to authorities. It's a theme the circuit attorney is working to change. 

News 4 will update this story as more information becomes available. 

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