A Mercer man is going to prison for a drive-by shooting in Waterville that injured a 7-year-old girl, while she sat in her bedroom.

Gavin Loabe, 19, pleaded guilty to felony assault a month ago. Despite his original claims that he was just driving the vehicle, police say he was the person who fired the shots at a Waterville apartment house. Loabe told authorities that he mistakenly thought someone else lived there. He was sentenced on Wednesday to eight years in prison.

Emaleeah Frost was in her bedroom when a bullet came through the wall and struck her. She was hospitalized and is said to still experience pain from her wounds. WABI-TV reports Loabe apologized to Emahleeah and her family in court, and to his own family who he said must be embarrassed by what he did.

Court documents, at the time of his arrest, indicated that Loabe and an accomplice were looking for a 'Mr. Vigue' at the apartment house, over an alleged proposition to Loabe's girlfriend. At the time, police said there was no indication that there was anyone by that name living in the apartment house. 20-year-old Jeremiah Gamblin was also arrested in connection with the shooting.

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