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.
Pregnant mother Zurana Horton, 34, was killed while defending her children and others that were leaving the Brownsville school when the shooting started
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.”
At least 48 exotic animals have escaped or been set loose from the Muskingham County Animal Farm in Zanesville, Ohio.
Some of the wild animals have been shot and killed by police after they escaped from an enclosure where their owner was later found dead.
The wild animals bolted after their cages were left open in a reservation which housed exotic animals including tigers, lions, wolves, giraffes, camels and bears.
Terry Thompson, the owner of the reserve was found dead by police at the farm.
Terry Thompson’s body was discovered on the ground and all the animal cage doors were open.
At least 48 exotic animals have escaped or been set loose from the Muskingham County Animal Farm in Zanesville, Ohio
Ohio police did not reveal the cause of Terry Thompson’s death but said several aggressive animals were near his body when officers arrived and had to be shot.
The reserve owner, who lived on the property, had chimps in cages in his home but these were still locked up.
Authorities urged nearby residents to stay indoors as wild animals were spotted wandering up and down highways in the area.
Police refused to give details of all the animals that had been shot but said bears and wolves were among the 25 animals killed.
“These are wild animals that you would see on TV in Africa,” said Sheriff Matt Lutz.
The sheriff described the escaped animals as “mature, very big, aggressive” but a keeper at the park had told them the reserve’s 48 animals had been fed on Monday.
Sheriff Matt Lutz added that police officers were patrolling the 40-acre farm and the surrounding areas in cars, not on foot, and were concerned about big cats and bears hiding in woodland.
Until now, there are no reports of injuries from residents.
It was reported an increasing number of phone calls made by locals who saw wild animals on local roads.
Caretakers from Columbus Zoo Ohio were at the scene in the hope of tranquillizing and capturing the rest of the animals so no more have to be killed.
Meanwhile, at least four school districts in the area have cancelled classes until the animals are rounded up.
According to Sheriff Matt Lutz, the authorities main concern is protecting the public.
“Any kind of cat species or bear species is what we are concerned about. We don’t know how much of a head start these animals have on us.”
Laura Jones, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, which usually deals with native wildlife like deer, said wildlife officers were helping the sheriff’s office to cope.
According to statistics, the state of Ohio has some of the nation’s weakest restrictions on exotic pets and among the highest number of injuries and deaths caused by them.
Ohio requires permits for bears but doesn’t regulate the ownership of animals like lions and tigers.