MARINE PARK, Brooklyn (WABC) -- A 36-year-old mother is clinging to life after being shot in the head in Brooklyn, and investigators now believe it was a suicide attempt.
The woman, who is in critical condition at Brookdale University Hospital, was found on a bench in a park near JHS 278 in Marine Park around 4 p.m. Tuesday.
The woman was observed by witnesses arguing with a man, believed to be the father of their child, before the shooting.
He was stopped by police nearby in a vehicle and was interviewed, but he was not expected to be charged in connection with her shooting.
However, the 34-year-old man is being interviewed by detectives in a separate domestic violence incident with another girlfriend.
Police are also still searching for the gun the woman used, which may have been picked up by the man or another passerby.
The woman reportedly sent a text to a niece, stating, "I'm sorry I had to do this...I'm in such a better place. I'm not hurting no more...Please don't be mad."
The shooting prompted a lockdown at the school, where dozens of frightened students had to stay in the auditorium.
"It was scary because it's shocking that they would do that in front of my school," 12-year-old Kamiyah Marrero said.
The seventh grader, who heard the gunshot, was brought to tears while expressing to her mom that she didn't feel safe.
"It's scary as a mom," Iheishah Civil said. "You know, you send your kids to school and you don't expect nothing like this to happen."
A crowd of parents grew outside during what was supposed to be a smooth first day of the afterschool program.
Jetta Bonds received an automated call from the school, saying that there was a shooting and students were safe inside.
"You see the tape everywhere," she said. "I'm like, what happened? I'm texting my son and he didn't respond, I got nervous."
The Department of Education released a statement in response to the incident.
"The safety of our students is our absolute top priority," it read. "Following an off-campus non-school related incident in the community, this school went into a shelter-in, which has now been lifted."
If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide or worried about a friend or loved one, help is available. Call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text TALK to 741-741 or visit 988lifeline.org/ for free confidential emotional support 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Even if it feels like it, you are not alone.
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