NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Neighbors are paying tribute to a mother who died shielding children from rooftop gunfire at a tribute Sunday.
Sunday’s walk for peace had residents, politicians and community activists criss-crossing many of Brownsville’s housing projects. It began at the spot where 34-year-old Zurana Horton was shot and killed by a stray bullet fired from a rooftop during an apparent gang battle.
“She didn’t even think. She stepped in front of those kids and she saved them and she didn’t deserve to die like that,” said Brownsville resident April Grant.
The gunshots rained down Friday afternoon as students were leaving P.S. 293. A $12,000 reward is offered for information that leads to the arrest of the gunman.
“I’m going to honor and try to honor her memory in any way possible,” said resident Betty Rincon.
Most of Horton’s 12 children, ranging in age from one to 18, will be raised by their grandparents, Denise Pearce and Kenneth Thompson.
“It’s been fine over the years being grandma, grandpa, but now we have to be mommy and daddy and it’s not something we wanted but it is something God gave us and something we have to do right now,” said Thompson, Horton’s stepfather.
He said many of Horton’s younger kids still don’t know their mother is dead.
The organizers of Sunday’s march vowed that they will make this notorious neighborhood safer.
“She could be the one just by her loss who can bring all of us together and demand what we need. Respect for one another, and respect of life,” said NYC Councilmember Mealy.
“After all the accolades about her, her children are still going to need help. They need counseling. Some of her children have special needs. We are addressing those issues. We want to get a scholarship to make sure her children have a future,” said NYC Councilwoman Darlene Mealy.
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