BEDFORD-STUYVESANT, Brooklyn — A teen was sentenced to 17 years behind bars for striking an 11-year-old girl as he shot at a group of purported gang members, paralyzing his young victim from the waist down, prosecutors said Monday.
Kane Cooper, 19, of Brooklyn, pleaded guilty last month to one count of first-degree assault in the May 31, 2013, shooting. In addition to nearly two decades in prison, Cooper was sentenced to five years’ post-release supervision.
That fateful day two years ago, Cooper opened fire in his Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, prosecutors said. He was targeting several reputed members of the Gates Avenue Mafia gang as he fired off 10 shots, according to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office.
Tayloni Mazyck, who was 11 years old at the time, was caught in the crossfire, prosecutors said. She was sitting with her mother and cousins in front of her home on Gates Avenue when she was pierced by one of Cooper’s bullets, prosecutors said. That bullet lodged in her spine, paralyzing her from the waist down.
Monday’s sentencing spared Mazyck from having to testify and face the man who changed her life forever, Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson said.
“She can now go on with her life knowing he will spend many years in prison as punishment for what he did,” Thompson said in a statement. “Senseless gun violence between gangs has devastating consequences and will not be tolerated.”