NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A Brooklyn gang member was sentenced to a maximum term of life in prison Tuesday, for shooting a mother of 13 to death outside a school.
Andrew Lopez was sentenced to 55 years to life in prison Tuesday, after being convicted last month in the 2011 death of Zurana Horton. Prosecutors said she was hit as Lopez fired 13 times at gang rivals from a Brownsville rooftop.
Shots rang out around 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 21, 2011, at the intersection of Pitkin Avenue and Watkins Street near P.S. 298, where students had just been dismissed 13 minutes earlier.
Horton died instantly when bullets hit her in the face and chest. She was regarded as a hero after police said she was seen hovering over a group of children to protect them as the shots were fired.
She had given birth to 13 children and one of her daughters died of pneumonia at the age of 9.
Sixth grader Cheanne McKnight, 11, suffered a graze wound to the cheek in the shooting. A 31-year-old mother was also shot in the arm and chest.
As he was sentenced for the crime Tuesday, Lopez, 20, turned to Horton’s family in court on Tuesday and proclaimed his innocence, the New York Post reported.
The victim’s mother, Denise Peace, said justice has been served. She spoke while holding one of Horton’s children, a 3-year-old girl.
Peace previously lost two more of her children to gun violence. One son was killed in a robbery and another in a street corner argument.
Two of Lopez’s brothers — Jonathan Carrasquillo and Kristian Lopez – were also charged in the incident. Carrasquillo was acquitted last month of murder and other charges, according to published reports.
You May Also Be Interested In These Stories
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)