STATEN ISLAND, NY, United States – The family of a 19-year-old shooting victim in Staten Island, New York is calling for the arrest and investigation of the perpetrator of the crime.
The victim, a Liberian whose identity has been withheld because the suspect is still on the loose, was shot at 3:09 a.m. on Saturday, August 4 while with four other friends near 225 North Burgher Avenue in Staten Island. There has been no arrest in connection to the crime.
A New York Police Department spokesperson told The Bush Chicken that an unknown suspect in a silver vehicle driving toward Richmond Terrace on North Burgher Avenue pointed a firearm in the direction of the victim, firing one round.
“Sustaining a shoulder blade gunshot wound on the left shoulder, he was removed to the Richmond University Medical Center,” the New York Police spokesman said.
The victim is currently responding to treatment at the Richmond University Medical Center. His father disclosed in an interview that his son left their home along with friends a few blocks away from where the incident occurred.
He said police said his son was not a target, but the shooter had mistaken his identity for another person’s.
“It just happened that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he quoted a police source. “The detective said they will give us a clear detail, so we don’t know the details, so we don’t want to speculate. We don’t want to say something that might be contradicting what the police will come up with.”
He said he feels encouraged that his son is responding to treatment and prays for his speedy recovery: “I still trust God. I know doctors can do the best they can; God gave them the wisdom and all of that, but the actual healing comes from God.”
According to him, doctors have said the bullet is still lodged in the victim’s right chest and they would not immediately remove it, as doing so now could cause harm. Doctors are focused on ensuring that the victim can regain the ability to walk again.
“The problem is the shock – when he was shot, that shock that got him and the fracture on his neck when he fell. He can sit down, he can stand up, its just the matter of taking his feet to move,” the victim’s father said.
An x-ray had concluded that the victim’s neck had not been broken as previously thought. After treatment, he will be taken to a rehabilitation center for physical therapy.
The victim’s father said as a pastor, he feels guilty for not ensuring that his son kept off the streets at such late hours. However, he praised the police and staff of the Richmond University Medical Center for their role in securing the life of his son.
He wants the shooter to be arrested and brought to justice: “My desire is that he will be off the street, but even his arrest will not heal my son; it will not really have any effect on my son right now.”
Two of the victim’s friends who were with him at the time of the shooting said they regret the situation and wish for his speedy recovery.
One explained that they were five gathered before his home when the shooting took place, but they all escaped, except the victim who was shot in the back.
“That basically is a lesson for us that we should be home, and we should not be out late,” one of them said.
Featured photo by Gbatemah Senah