NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Hundreds of people rallied outside Paterson City Hall on Tuesday night to demand justice and safer streets after a 12-year-old girl was fatally shot with a stray bullet while riding her scooter Saturday night.
As CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, the grieving father of Genesis Rincon made an emotional plea on the steps of City Hall.
“These streets are ours,” Alexis Rincon said. “They don’t belong to terrorism or all this other nonsense. We’ve got to walk out here freely, not scared.
“I was born here in Paterson, and people going to do this? Come on, man! It ain’t right. It ain’t right. And I’m going to stand up for my girl.”
Genesis was shot in the head around 8:40 p.m. Saturday while riding her scooter on Rosa Parks Boulevard with two friends, police said.
She was declared brain dead, and her family took her off life support Monday night.
Genesis’ 11-year-old sister, also named Alexis, condemned the gunman, who is still at large.
“Whoever did this has no type of heart for anyone at all,” she said, crying. ” … How can you sleep at night?”
The crowd at the rally was so large police had to shut down streets around City Hall.
Residents, who were chanting “enough is enough,” said they are fed up with the violence in their communities.
Budget cuts took about 150 police officers off Paterson’s streets five years ago.
“We need our officers back on our streets,” said Janet Aguilar, of Paterson.
Genesis’ father also addressed the City Council on Tuesday night, saying he’ll do whatever it takes to keep his hometown safe.
“I don’t want to leave town. You know why? Because I’m going to make a movement so loud, so big that we’re going to take our Paterson back,” he said to an applause.
If there was any good news to report in connection with the incident, Genesis’ organs were donated and saved five lives, Sanchez reported.
A 14-year-old boy received her heart, a 4-month old girl her liver, and another 4-month-old her kidneys.
A reward leading to an arrest in the case is up to $10,000. Paterson Mayor Joey Torres contributed $2,000, Sanchez reported.
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