12-year-old girl shot and 2 women injured in Queens due to street brawl, NYPD says

The family of a 12-year-old girl who was shot in her arm in Queens on Wednesday night said the incident left them all shaken, especially because the girl’s own mother was killed by gun violence more than a decade ago.

NYPD officials said on Thursday that the girl was struck by gunfire during a street brawl around 7:45 p.m. Wednesday involving a large group of people at NYCHA’s South Jamaica Houses on 160th Street and Tuskegee Airmen Way.

An 18-year-old woman also sustained gunshot wounds to her face and head and a 25-year-old woman was stabbed in her chest during the incident, according to the officials. Police said all three victims were taken to local hospitals in stable condition.

The NYPD was still investigating the cause of the fight and whether any of the three victims were directly involved. No suspects were immediately identified.

Devon Kelly, the 12-year-old’s great-uncle, said she was still recovering on Thursday and that the incident would likely leave her with emotional scars that would take a long time to heal.

“My niece said she’s doing good … but I told my niece today, ‘now you need to seek a doctor to make sure she gets counseling, because that’s traumatic for her age,’” Kelly said. He added that the girl was only 10 months old when her own mother, Kenya Hodges, was killed by gun violence in North Carolina.

The girl now lives with her aunt and four older siblings in the building where police said the fight broke out, according to Kelly, who lived at the complex for two decades when he was younger. He said the environment was much different back then.

“Even though you were in the projects, you knew each other,” he said. “You were all family and there were no arguments … that went to gun violence.”

Kelly added that he first heard about the shooting on the news, and then called his niece to learn more about what had happened. “The government and our mayor and our governor need to get together with families and find a way to get these guns off the street,” he said.

The girl’s cousin, who didn’t want to be named due to safety concerns, said the 12-year-old is a homebody with a nurturing spirit who loves to be around other kids. She was just a bystander in the shooting, the cousin said.

Neighbor Sharaz Mohamed said fights between young people have become common outside the building. He said he saw the incident’s aftermath while heading home on Wednesday night.

“Those kinds of confrontations, anyone can come up and start shooting,” said Mohamed. “So I just came into my place. … Sometimes people get crazy and annoyed and come back with an AK[-47]. So I didn’t take my chances.”

The 103rd Precinct, which includes Jamaica and Hollis, has recorded an increase in shootings this year to date, compared to the same period last year, according to NYPD data. Nine shootings have been reported in the precinct by May, up from five last year.

Kenisha Morrison, 35, and Joseph Murphy were the only two people reported to have died from gun violence in the precinct so far this year. They died in an apparent murder-suicide in March, according to police.

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