11-year-old girl fatally shot in stomach by suspects riding scooter in the Bronx identified

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Tuesday, May 17, 2022
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An 11-year-old girl is dead after she was shot in the stomach by a gunman riding a scooter in the Bronx Monday night.

LONGWOOD, Bronx (WABC) -- An 11-year-old girl is dead after she was shot in the stomach by a gunman riding a scooter in the Bronx Monday night.

The girl, an innocent bystander who was a half block away when the gunfire erupted, is identified as 11-year-old Kyhara Tay, of the Bronx.

The incident happened just before 5 p.m. in front of 995 Westchester Avenue in the Longwood section.

NYPD officials say a man was being chased by two suspects riding a scooter headed from Fox Avenue to Westchester Avenue towards 165th Street.

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The man then attempted to enter 1015 Fox Street, causing the scooter to pass him. That's when police say he began running in the opposite direction.

The passenger on the scooter then fired shots at the man, and one of the bullets struck Tay in the abdomen approximately a half block away on Fox Street.

She was struck on the sidewalk and went into a nearby nail salon for help, where Lillian Johnson and Maya Jones were inside.

"You can't just move on from seeing something like that," Johnson said. "She just kept saying, 'Ow,' and holding her stomach."

"We didn't know where it was," Jones added. "We didn't know if it was like her leg or her chest until we zipped down and we saw the wound, the wound on her stomach. And then she ended up passing out on the floor."

EMT Paulette Soto responded to the scene.

"That's when we found out she was a child," Soto said. "It's gut wrenching, especially in the South Bronx, where I grew up."

Tay was rushed to Lincoln Hospital, where she died late Monday night.

"She's 11," Jones said. "Kid's got a future and stuff like that, it makes no sense to me. It's traumatizing cause it could be anyone."

Councilman Rafael Salamanca, who represents District 17, which includes Longwood, visited Tay's family Tuesday morning.

"I want the shooter caught," Tay's father told Salamanca. "I want justice."

Grief counselors are at Bronx Academy for Multi-Media, where Tay was a sixth grade student as classmates mourned the loss of a friend.

Neighbors who stopped by Tuesday to say a prayer for Tay's family said they are thinking of the children in the neighborhood -- in some cases their own children -- knowing it could have been any of them.

"I blame illegal guns, the ghost guns," neighbor Diane Whittington said. "You can make those. I blame the courts for letting out people who have violent crimes against them."

ALSO READ | Bronx DA urges credit card companies to cut ties with ghost gun sellers

Shameka Morris says she heard about Monday's tragedy from her 13-year-old son.

"We are losing them much too soon, and more needs to be done to protect them," she said. "And he doesn't know why this is happening, and as a parent, it's my responsibility to explain these things to him. But I also don't have the answers."

Police have released surveillance video capturing the shooting and the individuals for whom they are searching.

"This is very very difficult for us to accept," NYPD Deputy Chief Timothy McCormack said. "This is the second child that's shot in this borough this year. An 11-month-old, and now an 11-year-old."

Anyone with information is urged to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit tips by visiting the CrimeStoppers website at crimestoppers.nypdonline.org or by messaging on Twitter @NYPDTips.

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