Girl hit by bullet after fatal shooting

Incident happened in Brooklyn
March 14, 2008 8:14:05 PM PDT
A man was fatally shot and a 9-year-girl grazed by a bullet in Brooklyn Friday.Police are investigating the incidents as separate, but say they could be related.

It all started around 3 p.m. when police got a call of shots fired near a playground in East New York. Authorities say a 27-year-old man was shot and killed on the sidewalk there.

Then, about a half hour later, police received a 911 call from an apartment complex two blocks away. And neighbors say they couldn't believe what flew through the window.

"It's just a freak accident, and it's hideous," neighbor Matoka Belton said. "It's unfair to that little girl."

Police say a bullet blasted through a fifth-floor apartment and grazed the little girl.

She and her family turned to their neighbor for help.

"She was in shock," Belton said. "She held up good. But she was in shock. She's 9 years old...From what we noticed, it went through her arm, it went through her ribcage and exited her body...She just kept saying, 'I want my mommy.'"

Detectives are still trying to confirm the link between the murder and the girl's injuries.

She is listed in stable condition at Brookdale Hospital. Authorities are still searching for the gunman.

Angry neighbors have a clear message. They say this needs to stop and they want the police to do more.

"They don't come out until everybody is dead," neighbor Deidre King said. "What happened to protect and serve?"

"Everyone is worries about Spitzer," Belton said. "We need to worry about these children, because they can turn out to be a governor or a mayor or a president if they live long enough."