A New York mother shared her pain exclusively with PIX11 News Thursday after her son, just 14 years old, was grazed by a bullet fired through the windshield of an MTA bus.
It happened at about 10 a.m. Thursday off Lenox Avenue in Harlem, threatening the life of every person on board.
Police said the suspects who fired the shots were aiming for the teen; his mother, Maggie, said he left home minutes earlier and boarded the M1 Bus.
Maggie is not the mother’s real name; she asked PIX11 not to reveal her identity for fear of retaliation.
“He said he saw them and they looked suspicious,” she said, “and then he continued to board the bus. And as he was boarding the bus, they opened fire. My phone started ringing a few minutes later, and it was my son, and he told me he had been shot.”
Luckily, one of the bullets only grazed the boy’s head; the other struck a metal safety bar inside the bus, which likely saved the bus driver’s life.
“After looking at some video, I can say right now, it looks intentional to me,” said NYPD Inspector Peter Fiorillo.
The NYPD has recorded at least 100 non-fatal shooting involving teens this year alone.
Residents are incensed and overwhelmed.
Iesha Sekou, CEO and founder of the anti-gun violence organization Street Corner Resources, says any solution to curbing gun violence, particularly among teens, must involve getting to them before they hit their teenage years.
“It seems like these beefs are getting bigger and bigger, going on for longer periods of time and more brazen, and happening during daylight hours,” she said. “Peer pressure is heavy for our young people. None of these kinds are bad kids. They don’t start out that way.”
Law enforcement sources told PIX11 that the victim is a known gang member and was the intended target of the rival gunman.
Maggie, however, said she doesn’t believe the shooting was gang related, and said her son had told her he wasn’t involved in gang activity.
“That’s my baby. This is too much,” she said. “They almost killed my son.”
Maggie’s son was treated and released from the hospital Thursday.