NEW BRIGHTON, Staten Island — She's a local minister who detectives said was shot at, apparently at random, by a mystery gunman on Christmas Day. Now, however, investigators say that the shooter is a woman. As they try to track her down, the minister is speaking out.
"It was just like somebody was throwing rocks at the car," Minister Monique Hall, 42, said about the ordeal she and her 19-year-old son went through on Christmas Day. "I was like, 'What the heck is going on?', and they were shooting at the car."
According to police, the shooter was Nadia Williams, 30, a woman who lives about four blocks away from Hall, but is apparently not known to her. Williams allegedly fired repeatedly, grazing Minister's Hall's back and wounding her son, Davon. His right shoulder and esophagus were injured.
"He was so calm in the car," Hall said about her son. "When everything happened, he told me, 'Mom, I just got shot in the head.' But he was calm, which let me stay focused."
Medics rushed him, and his mother, to the hospital. They're now able to recover at home.
"I just thank everybody that surrounded me, opening their arms to me and our family while we go through this ordeal," she said.
Hall is part of the ministry staff at one of the largest churches on Staten Island's north shore, First Central Baptist. She said that she's speaking out now in the hope that Nadia Williams, the suspect, who also goes by the alias Jessica Giles, will be caught, or will turn herself in.
There was no response at Williams's home on Tuesday, but neighbors reacted strongly to seeing the photo of Williams that's been issued by the NYPD.
"I know her for years," Hani Solomon, who lives across the street from Williams's New Brighton home, said. "I've lived here all my life, never think something like that would be happening from her, you know."
Minister Hall is still in disbelief that anyone at all would shoot at her and her child.
"I don't know who she is," Hall said about Williams. "All I can say is the One-Twenty has been very diligent, working on this case."
She referred specifically to the 120th NYPD Precinct, which has been handling the investigation.
Overall, Minister Hall is coping with the ordeal peacefully. She said that she has to.
"I have to forgive her," Hall told PIX11 News. " I have to move on."
She added that her equanimity about the situation comes from a higher power.
"Nothing but God," she said. "If it was all about me, I'd be a mess, right?"
Detectives are asking anyone with any information to contact them at Crime Stoppers, here, or by calling 800.577.TIPS (8477).