NEW YORK (AP) — Three teenage children walking home from school Friday were shot, one fatally, when a gunman started firing during a street corner dispute in the Bronx, police said.
The shooting was the latest episode of headline-grabbing violence in New York City amid a rise in violent crime during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The girl killed in the gunfire was 16 years old, police said. Another 16-year-old girl was hit in the leg. A 17-year-old boy was wounded in the buttocks. Both are expected to survive.
Police said many details were still under investigation, but that the gunfire appeared to start after two people were gesturing at each other across an intersection. The children who were shot were walking by on the sidewalk.
“We believe that they are coming from school, that they were headed home,” Deputy Police Chief Timothy McCormack told reporters at a brief news conference.
The shooting happened at 1:40 p.m. outside of the South Bronx Educational Campus, which is home to two schools, Mott Haven Village Prep and University Heights Secondary School.
The Department of Education said two of the teens went to Mott Haven. The third teen went to University Prep Charter High School, a short distance away.
Police were examining security camera video, which recorded the gunfire, to try and identify the shooter.
Mayor Eric Adams has made fighting crime a priority since taking office Jan. 1. Homicides are down slightly from this time last year, but gun violence overall remains at levels not seen in a decade.
On Friday, he tweeted, “We lost a 16 year old baby in the Bronx today. We pray for this young girl, for her family, and for the other two victims in the hospital. It’s a tragedy. It’s unacceptable. It’s why we can’t abandon our streets to gun violence.”
New York City saw shootings drop to modern-era lows from 2012 to 2019, but that progress was partly erased during the pandemic and social unrest of the past two years. Violence still remains at levels far below the city’s nadir in the 1990s or even in the decade after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
Police on Friday announced arrests in a stray-bullet shooting death in the Bronx from earlier in the week.
Juana Esperanza Soriano De-Perdomo, 61, was killed Monday night when she was hit in the back by gunfire from a dispute between two groups of men, police said.
Two men have been arrested, and are facing charges including murder and manslaughter.