NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Two women are dead after police said gunmen opened fired at a group of people in Brooklyn.

It happened around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday near the Stuyvesant Garden Houses on Gates Avenue.

The women were part of group of about 20 people hanging out in a courtyard when witnesses say two men, believed to be from the nearby Roosevelt Housing complex, came up and opened fire.

“Heard shots, four or five shots. Sounded like fire crackers, real loud,” resident Curtis Campbell said. “When I came outside, more than a dozen officers.”

Chynna Battle, a 21-year-old woman who lived around the corner from the shooting scene, was found face down on a bench with a gunshot wound to the head. Another woman, 29-year-old Shaqwanda Staley, was found with three bullet wounds in her back.

Both were taken to area hospitals, where they were pronounced dead. Police sources say it doesn’t appear they were the intended targets.

A close friend of Battle, who did not want to be identified, is shaken by the loss of Battle, who she saw just hours before the shooting.

“She didn’t deserve it and it’s devastating,” she told CBS2’s Janelle Burrell.

Both women were mothers of young children. Battle’s daughter is just 3 years old.

“She took care of her daughter, she went to work,” her friend said. “She was just talking about going back to school and now she won’t be able to do any of those things. She won’t be able to see her daughter grow up.”

Another neighbor said the shooting was too close to home.

“That could have been me last night,” Janasha Perry told 1010 WINS’ Samantha Liebman. “If I was chilling outside last night or even just walking home or walking into my building, that could have been me.”

Police have been searching the area for surveillance video trying to put together a description of the suspects.


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