A 15-year-old Queensbridge girl who was shot in the hand by a stray bullet Sept. 23 was welcomed home Monday afternoon with a march against gun violence in her community.
Amy was surrounded by 250 people, including elected officials and public housing activists, in her first public appearance since the accident. The crowd welcomed the Queensbridge teen home with a march from her apartment, where she was shot through the window, to the Jacob Riis Settlement House in Queensbridge.
“Together we are taking a stand and marching toward a future when gun violence no longer exists,” City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) said in a statement. “Our community has had enough. Now is a time to end the violence.”
Amy, who had been doing her homework when she had been hit, had been convalescing at Weill Cornell Medical Center over the past week.
Police announced early last Thursday morning that Day Bryant, 37, of 2850 8th Ave. in Harlem, has been charged with criminal possession of a weapon and reckless endangerment in connection with the shooting.
Ray Normandeau, press secretary of the Queensbridge Tenant Council, said last week he was glad an arrest had been made.
“I think it’s fantastic news,” Normandeau said. “Usually nobody’s apprehended.”
Van Bramer said last week, at a Police Service Area-9 meeting, at 34-40 21st St. in the Ravenswood Houses in Astoria, that Amy had been doing schoolwork at 5 a.m. Sept. 23 so she could get it done before going to church. He said she ducked when she heard the shots, an action that could have saved her from being hit in the head. Two bullets had come through the window before a third had ricocheted and hit her in the hand, Van Bramer said.
He said the family came into his office after the incident. He went to visit Amy in the hospital and held the rally in response.
“They wanted some help and they’re afraid,” Van Bramer said.
The councilman described Amy as a great student and writer. He said she has been writing in the hospital.
About 50 people showed up at the Ravenswood meeting and many were concerned both about Amy and the New York City Housing Authority’s role in keeping the peace. One man in the audience said many rules like parking are rarely enforced by NYCHA and the agency is lax on the upkeep of security features, like lighting and whether or not the doors are locked.
“What is needed is the partnership and reinforcement from NYCHA,” said Karen Dennis, president of the police community council for housing. “I don’t think that relationship is great.”
U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria) said in a statement that Queensbridge Houses needed more police officers.
“While the most recent shooting incident in Queensbridge Houses is outrageous in itself, what’s even more disturbing is that it is yet one more in a growing number of episodes of gun violence in this neighborhood,” Maloney said. “In a city filled with more than 8 million New Yorkers, guns just don’t belong.”
Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4564.
©2012 Community News Group
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