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Tyshawn Falconer was shot in the chest by an unidentified gunman shortly after 8:30 p.m., police said. The boy opened his door after a man rang the door bell on the quiet residential street and asked for his 16-year-old brother Tony, according to police and neighbors."I was in my bedroom and I heard the gunshots," said Madge Rigg, a next door neighbor and family friend. "The next thing I know, all hell broke loose and the ambulance and police cars rushed here."Tyshawn was rushed to Long Island Jewish Hospital Center in critical condition. His status was upgraded to stable Monday morning, according to a hospital spokeswoman.Police were searching for the gunman, who escaped from the scene. The investigation was ongoing. No description of the shooter was given.Neighbors, who asked not to be named, believe that the gunman may have targeted Tony because he held a grudge against another boy. They did not elaborate.Tyshawn's parents, who are of Jamaican descent, and the rest of the family were at the hospital. A friend who stopped by their house to pick up the boy's clothes refused to talk to reporters.Rigg said she and her children, who often played with Tyshawn, Tony and their other brother, Tyler, 12, were shocked to see their close friend taken away in an ambulance. Their neighborhood, lined with single-family brick houses, has always been safe, according to Rigg, who has lived there for more than 13 years."This was such a terrible thing to happen to the family. When something like this happens, the whole neighborhood is affected," she said.Rigg spoke highly of Tyshawn, who she said attended PS 132 in Springfield Gardens. Whether it was helping his family out at home or having fun with the other children in the neighborhood, Rigg said the boy was friendly and generous."He'd always play with my children on the street and with video games. He'd like to laugh and was just a wonderful boy," she said.Anyone with information about the shooting is urged to call Crimestoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). All calls will be kept confidential.Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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