NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Brooklyn mother is mourning the loss of her daughter who she believes was killed for simply asking people to stop setting off illegal fireworks.
It happened in an area riddled with gun violence, that only seems to be getting worse, CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis reported Monday.
Candles sit in the courtyard of East New York’s Pink Houses, where 33-year-old Shatavia Walls was shot on July 7. Sadly, she died 10 days later.
On a nearby bench Monday, DeAngelis met her mother, who was reflecting and mourning. She asked that CBS2 hide her identity because her daughter’s killer is still out there.
“My daughter was a helping person, always wanted to help everybody,” the mother said.
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She went on to explain that’s exactly what her daughter was doing earlier this month.
“It started over some fireworks, asking somebody to stop lighting fire works because the kids was in the park. They was asked politely,” the mother said.
She says days later, as Walls and a friend were leaving the Linden Boulevard building after a visit, they were gunned down.
According to police sources, it’s believed Walls was the intended target. A 30-year-old man was also shot, but survived.
“It happened out here. It’s people from out here,” the mother said.
Police sources say they are not ruling out the possibility this was gang related, pointing out there is a gang issue at the housing complex, adding there’s no indication the victim had any involvement in a rival gang, and that the motive appears to be strictly based on an earlier confrontation over fireworks, DeAngelis reported.
“My heart goes out to the family of Shatavia Walls on this horrific incident,” Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said in a statement. “Gun violence has hurt too many innocent people in our city, from 1-year-old Davell Gardner to this dynamic young lady. Dangerous people are shooting innocent people for senseless reasons. I renew my call for cracking down on the scourge of illegal guns.
“Our call is to continue building an ecosystem of public safety that includes community response and police. Whenever someone exhibits violence we should call the police, but whenever we can communicate peacefully with our neighbors, we should do so,” Adams added.
At the 75th Precinct, in a 28-day stretch up to July 12, there were 24 shooting victims, compared to five during the same period last year.
CBS2 was told the NYPD has moved resources into the area, with more cops on high-visibility posts and a new violent crimes unit.
While police address a problem, Walls’ mother didn’t seem confident there would be a solution.
The mother and others DeAngelis spoke to said they feel violence where they live will never stop, but they are too afraid to speak out.
As a memorial to Walls was being set up, they were left to mourn a life lost and to wonder when will enough be enough.
People in the area wouldn’t say much on camera, but it’s clear from those DeAngelis spoke to off camera, along with the candles and notes, that Walls was well loved and will be missed.
Police continue to search for surveillance video and any clues that can lead to an arrest.