NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A 9-year-old girl was out of the hospital Sunday night – two days after becoming the latest child victim of gun violence in the city.
But as CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported, the gunman who shot and wounded Amanda Chauan remained on the loose Sunday night.
Amanda’s release from the hospital on Father’s Day was nothing short of a miracle for her proud father.
The girl bounced back bravely from a bullet graze wound to her abdomen after she was caught in crossfire Friday night just steps away from her family’s apartment building in Kingsbridge.
CBS 2 was there for Amanda’s emotional return to the apartment building on Bailey Avenue near 233rd Street, where she was shielded in the middle of a crowd of relatives, friends, and police officers.
But Amanda’s grandmother explained the little girl who was smiling so broadly outside Jacobi Medical Center is now deathly afraid of this place she calls home.
“She don’t like to be outside. She’s scared,” said Amanda’s grandmother, Wanda Forte. “She wants to be upstairs with her friends, families, you know.”
Amanda was struck Friday evening by bullets fired by a shooter who apparently cruised through the neighborhood on a bike.
The suspect fired six shots, one of which struck the victim, he fled southbound on Broadway on his bicycle, according to authorities.
“She was playing in the parking lot with her little brother and some people in the bicycle just came out of nowhere shooting people,” said Kingsbridge resident Isamarie Brown.
The police presence remained massive in the area two nights later. Extra officers from surrounding precinct station houses were helping beef up the police presence.
Meanwhile, the gunman who fired the shots into the crowd remained at large. Police have said they want to question Billy James Jr., 17, in connection with the shooting, but have released no information about whether he was believed to be the shooter.
James is considered a person of interest, but not a suspect.
“A lot of people say they’ve seen him a lot, and the school he goes to and all that, so with all of that, if it makes sure we know, hopefully, we’ll find the right person that did this to her,” said Josephina Soriano, a cousin of the victim’s. “It’s not fair that kids can’t play outside in the streets.”
Amanda, the only one injured, stumbled into the lobby of her building then collapsed after she was shot.
Her mother loaded her into the family car and rushed her to North Central Bronx Hospital. She was then taken to the trauma center at Jacobi Hospital where she was stabilized.
A $22,000 reward is being offered for information that solves the case.
The shooting is the latest in a string of incidents that have turned innocent children into the victims of gun violence. In May, D’Aja Robinson, 14, was shot and killed while riding a Q-6 Bus home from a sweet sixteen party in South Jamaicam Queens.
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