Friday afternoon a gunman opened fire on a Brooklyn street while students were let out of Brownsville’ school, killing pregnant mother Zurana Horton and injuring other two people.
Zurana Horton, 34, was killed while defending her children and others that were leaving school when the shooting started.
Reports say Zurana Horton was pregnant when she was shot though it has not been reported how far along she was in the pregnancy.
Another mother and an 11-year-old girl were also struck, though they were not killed.
The fire started at about 2:30 p.m., right as the children were being let out from a local public elementary and middle school in Brownsville, New York.
NYPD were investigating whether the gunman fired from a nearby rooftop where shell casings were discovered.
Zurana Horton hovered over students to protect them as shots were fired. The mother was shot in the face and chest and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Another 31-year-old mother who was struck is still unnamed. The woman was hit in an arm and the chest and was hospitalized.
The 11-year-old girl, a sixth-grader at the Brooklyn school, had one arm injured and had a graze wound on her cheek. None of the victims was related, according to police.
According to Margie Feinberg, a Department of Education spokeswoman, the victims were on a street corner at the back of the elementary school when the fire started.
So far, it is unclear how many shots were fired. Seven shell casings from a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol were found on the nearby rooftop and other five shell casings were found on the sidewalk in the front of that building, according to police.
According to eye-witnesses, three men were seen fleeing the scene, and police were questioning at least one person. The gunman was being sought, and police offered a $12,000 reward for information in the case, New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne said.
Brownsville, the school’s neighborhood, is located in southeastern Brooklyn and is among the most crime-plagued in New York.
Brownsville area is also known as the place where tens of thousands of people, mostly black and Hispanic men, are stopped, questioned and frisked annually by police. Critics say the men are being unfairly targeted, and only about 10% of stops city-wide result in arrest.
NYPD says the tactic is a necessary crime-fighting tool that helps get illegal guns off the streets.
New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne said:
“Police conduct stops of individuals evincing suspicious behaviour in areas where shootings occur in order to prevent, or at least lower, the frequency of tragedies like the one in Brownsville today.”