Rally held for bystander shot and killed at vigil for another shooting victim in Brooklyn

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Thursday, May 20, 2021
Rally held for innocent bystander gunned down at vigil in NYC
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Darla Miles has more on Shalimar Birkett, a 32-year-old woman who died in a drive-by shooting in Brooklyn on Monday night while attending a vigil for 31-year-old Miles Bobbsemple.

WEEKSVILLE, Brooklyn (WABC) -- A rally was held Wednesday for the woman who was killed while at a vigil for another shooting victim.

Shalimar Birkett, 32, died in a drive-by shooting in Brooklyn on Monday night.

She was attending a vigil for 31-year-old Miles Bobbsemple, who was shot and killed less than 24 hours earlier at a house party in Brooklyn.

Police believe both of them were innocent victims of gang violence. Birkett's mother also lost a son, Neyon Hamilton, to gun violence.

"I can't take it. I can't. I'm going through too much, too much," Patricia Hamilton said. "They take my daughter's life away. And I'd like to see justice for my son Neyon. I just want to see them put away."

Authorities say Birkett, a mother of two, was shot in the head on Park Place in the Weeksville section just after 11 p.m.

"This is a mother without kids," the victim's aunt, Sophia Husbands, said. "For this to happen again, our family is going through hell already."

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Birkett was attending the vigil for Bobbsemple when a gunman opened fire from a passing white sedan.

"Her kids, they didn't deserve this," Husbands said. "All of this gun violence for no reason. Everything they did to her is senseless."

She is not believed to have been the gunman's intended target, and she was pronounced dead at Brookdale University Hospital.

No arrests have been made in her killing.

"Unfortunately those stray bullets are hitting innocent bystanders," NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said. "That case you're talking about is really in its infancy in terms of investigation."

Detectives have since determined Bobbsemple was shot at a house party on Remsen Avenue, near Avenue A, around 12:25 a.m. Monday.

Bobbsemple appears to have accidentally stepped on a gang member's foot or somehow showed a sign of disrespect, police said.

The gang member opened fire, killing Bobbsemple and wounding a 30-year-old man who survived.

No arrests were made in that homicide either.

"If you're not a coward, come forward," Husbands said. "We're hurting. Hurting."

Members of the same gang are believed to have opened fire on the vigil in continuing escalation of violence.

"We definitely do need police," Birkett's cousin, Harriet Hines, said. "Please do not defund the police. We are asking the police to help find my cousin's killer."

Anyone with information about either case 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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