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Shooting victim, community advocates gather at park where woman was hit by stray bullet

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FLATBUSH, Brooklyn —Grassroots organizers joined City Councilman Jumaane WIlliams at Brooklyn’s Paerdegat Park Monday evening. They flooded the park with volunteers 72 hours after Catherine Loppe was grazed by a stray bullet during a basketball tournament.

Loppe recalled the scary moment when gunfire erupted, “all of sudden someone came in the park and there were gunshots and so I ran, and that’s when I got hit with the bullet.”

The tournament continued Monday. In the background, Councilman Williams was joined by G.M.A.C.C., Inc., as they tried to raise awareness about gun violence.

“We have to treat this as a public health crisis,” Williams said. “In the Bronx right now all the experts are gathered, rightfully so, to deal with legionnaires, a few months ago everybody was going crazy over Ebola, I want to see the same going crazy over gun violence.”

Shanduke McPhatter of G. M. A. C. C., Inc. explained, “we try to show our kids there’s other ways to deal with their anger.”

In another demonstration against gun violence, an empty casket was placed outside Brooklyn Borough Hall Monday afternoon. The casket was filled with pictures of gun violence victims as a reminder of the true toll of gun play. Over the weekend in New York City, 3 people were murdered and more than 20 were shot.