Family of teen girl gunned down speaks out

Two separate shootings in Queens; Girl, 15, dead; Five men shot
May 19, 2008 8:37:32 AM PDT
The parents of a Queens 15-year-old girl killed by a stray bullet while visiting her old neighborhood say they had moved last year to get away from the violence. Bethea Brandon was shot in the head just after 11 p.m. Saturday in front of Redfern Houses in Far Rockaway. The gunfire erupted suddenly as she danced with friends outside. She was taken to St. John's Hospital, where she died.

Her stepfather, Robert Drakeford, says the family left the projects for Jamaica, Queens, shortly after Brandon's best friend was killed by a stray bullet.

He says they should have moved farther away or left New York altogether.

The victim's boyfriend, Isiah Alston, also 15, told reportes that Brandon was not the intended target.

"She was coming to see me," he said. "Somebody was shooting. It wasn't meant for her. That's my girl."

He said Brandon, who was with a group of friends, lived in Jamaica and was a student at Intermediate School 53.

Family members told 1010 WINS radio that Brandon was planning to attend John Adams High School in Ozone Park in the fall.

Police were still seeking Brandon's killer Sunday.

Meanwhile, six people were arrested in connection in the shootings a few hours later of five men near a restaurant at Beach 21st Street and Mott Avenue in Far Rockaway. A revolver was recovered from a jeep.