Two days after a man and a teenager exchanged gunfire near West Edwin and Locust streets in the city, a mother and her three children are coping with the trauma left behind after a stray bullet passed through the family home.
“My children have certainly been affected by this. Two of my kids were in (a playroom) where the ball went through. I’m super protective right now.” the woman said after asking a reporter to step away from her. Her children are all under 10 years old.
“We were all at home. I was in another room than them. They immediately jumped under a table. Then my 9 year old daughter saw a piece of blind fall to the floor. At first we thought it was firecrackers. We didn’t know the difference between the sound of a firecracker and a gunshot. We had never seen anything like it before,” said the mother, who has lived in the neighborhood for more than a dozen years.
“It’s very uncomfortable here at the moment,” she said Sunday morning.
City police rushed to the neighborhood around 9:50 p.m. Friday to investigate “a report of several shots fired.”
Upon arrival, officers located an uninjured adult male and a 16-year-old juvenile suspect with multiple gunshot wounds. The teenager was found lying behind a house, police said in a statement.
Paramedics treated the youngster and then took him to UPMC Williamsport, where an officer said the teenager “went straight to surgery.”
The adult man told police he was approached by two minors, one of whom walked behind him, pulled out a gun and shot him, the statement said. “The victim was able to draw his own firearm and the two men exchanged gunfire. The teenager was hit several times before fleeing a short distance,” police said in the statement.
At least two of the bullets hit the mother’s house.
“A bullet went through a window where my children were. It went through a door, ricocheted off my fridge and bounced into a back room,” said the mother as tears rolled down her cheeks.
“I want people to know that this gun violence has an effect on people. The stray bullets are what kill our children,” said the woman.
“We were home, safe. We weren’t out in the dark. This ordeal has made us feel insecure in our own home. I’ve never faced this kind of situation before.” said the mother.
“God had us covered on Friday night. God covered my babies that night,” said the woman.
A second bullet hit an exterior wall on the east side of the house. The police removed the bullet fragment.
“My eldest thought the firecrackers were too loud, too close to the house. She immediately went under the table with her sister and pulled out the chairs. She then saw a piece of the window blind fall. God covered this house, “ said the mother.
“I don’t even want to go out, and my kids still don’t want to go to certain rooms after this,” she added.
A warrant for his arrest has been issued for the teenager, charging him with attempted homicide, aggravated assault and related offences.
Court documents say the 16-year-old shot point-blank range at the adult man, who said he “could feel the ball close to his head” as it passed by him. The adult male, who had a license to carry a concealed weapon, pulled out a handgun and fired at least a dozen rounds, hitting the teenager at least three times, according to court documents.
The adult male, who took shelter behind a tree, saw the teenager attempt to fire back, but the teenager’s gun allegedly jammed, police said. When the teenager ran behind a house, the adult called the police. When officers arrived at the scene, the adult had his hands in the air and his firearm at his feet, police wrote in a document. While the teenager was rushed to hospital, the adult was taken to police headquarters for questioning and later released.
Friday night’s shooting came just two days after 20-year-old Ziar Young was shot dead in his apartment at Victoria Gardens, 653 Hepburn St., about six blocks away. No arrests have been made in connection with the homicide and police have not released any information that would lead investigators to believe the shootings were related.
No arrests have yet been made in the homicide of Malik Davis, 39, of Williamsport, who was shot in a side yard at 718 Elmira St. on May 23, city police said. The bullet that took his life passed through him and through a second story fan in a window of an apartment across the street, hitting a second man, who suffered a superficial wound to the chest , police said.