NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A mother became a random victim of New York’s gun violence in Queens on Friday night.
Friends say 37-year-old Gudelia Vallinas was a devoted wife and mother of two young kids.READ MORE: Join Us For Our Candidate Conversation With Jack Ciattarelli Tonight At 7 p.m. On CBSN New York
She was shot and killed, police say, while caught in the crossfire as armed young men took aim at each other on the streets of Astoria.
It happened near 48th Street and Broadway around 8 p.m.
Police say the suspects had started arguing inside the nearby Woodside Houses.
Two men, one of them carrying a gun, ran down Broadway to the corner of 48th Street.
Vallinas was just steps from her home when a bullet struck her in the head. Police say she was not the intended target.
A heartbreaking and senseless tragedy occurred last night as an apparent altercation at the Woodside Houses spilled out onto the street resulting in shots being fired two blocks from the development. An uninvolved woman was struck and killed – a tragic loss for our community.
— NYPD Housing PSA 9 (@NYPDPSA9) March 13, 2021
Zack Alradaf, who works at a nearby store, said he heard shots ring out followed by screaming. He said he ran outside and found Vallinas unconscious and bleeding on the ground.
“It was just so loud… All you see is people scattering all over, running away. And it was just unbelievable, first time I’m experiencing this,” Alradaf said.
She was rushed to the hospital, where she died.
“It’s so sad. To tell you the truth, I’m very sad. It’s hard. It’s hard,” a family friend told CBS2’s Dave Carlin. “She was a very nice, very nice mommy, very nice daughter. I know the parents, also.”READ MORE: De Blasio Administration 'Disappointed' With Judge's Decision To Temporarily Stop Plan To Change City Retiree Health Benefits
Family members say Vallinas was just running a quick errand when she was shot.
Her father-in-law, Miguel Vallinas, told CBS2 her son and daughter are aware their mother was shot to death.
Watch Dave Carlin’s report —
Police were still on the scene Saturday morning searching for ballistic evidence and surveillance video, CBS2’s Christina Fan reported.
Throughout the neighborhood, police put up posters urging anyone with information to come forward.
Surveillance footage shows a man, described by investigators as a person of interest, walking in and out of alleys on 47th Street, prompting a police search of the area, including the garbage cans.
“They were just searching the vicinity for any evidence … Anything to help solve the case,” one resident said.
On the same street, a camera captured an alleged getaway car leaving the scene, traveling the wrong way on a one-way street.
Other family members told CBS2 Vallinas cleaned houses for a living and was dedicated to her family and her church.
They say it is likely she will be buried back in her native Mexico.MORE NEWS: NYPD: Suspect Grabbed 11-Year-Old Girl's Hair, Tried To Choke Her At Stuyvesant Square Park
CBS2’s Christina Fan and Cory James contributed to this report.