Innocent bystander struck by gunfire outside Washington Heights bodega speaks out

Lucy Yang Image
Tuesday, August 3, 2021
Innocent bystander struck by gunfire outside bodega speaks out
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(Previous coverage) Lucy Yang spoke exclusively with an innocent bystander who was shot outside a bodega

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, Manhattan (WABC) -- A woman who was shot when a gunman opened fire outside a bodega this weekend is speaking out.

"All of a sudden I felt a shot, something hot, when I looked down my legs, I was bleeding," Irma Diaz said.

Diaz had just left a bodega in Washington Heights on Saturday night when three gunmen came looking for a man. Police say the gunmen opened fire outside Marte Grocery on Audubon Avenue.

Diaz was one of three innocent victims shot. She said the bullet entered her right buttock, ricocheted around her body then exited her left leg. Miraculously, it did not hit any organs.

A 42-year-old woman was also hit in her left arm and a 78-year-old man was hit in his left arm and abdomen.

"When someone starts shooting, a bullet doesn't have a name, it can catch me like it did," Diaz said. "They're going crazy out there."

And she is far from alone. Between Friday and Sunday, New York City had 19 shootings with 33 victims.

Police say 1,057 victims have been shot in the city so far this year. That's 113 more than this time last year.

"They have armed loaded weapons, they're being arrested and turned back into the streets because of no bail," said Republican candidate for NYC mayor Curtis Sliwa. "They're not being remanded to Rikers Island jail. It's very simple. These are the enemies of society."

"The same level of urgency that we showed on 9-12 of 2001 we need to show the urgency right now," said Democratic candidate for NYC Mayor Eric Adams.

The two mayoral candidates have different approaches to policing the city but they are well aware crime is front and center for most New Yorkers who don't want to get shot like Diaz -- simply while leaving a store.

ALSO READ | Wounded bystander speaks out after gang-related mass shooting in Queens

The NYPD is hoping surveillance video and help from the community will help them track down the group they say is responsible for a mass shooting in Queens.


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