Teenager critically injured near Brooklyn playground released from hospital


GOWANUS, Brooklyn — A 16-year-old girl was greeted by cheers and applause as she was released from a Brooklyn-area hospital Friday.

A week prior, Kyla Sobers-Batties was shot in the head and critically injured near a Gowanus playground.

The teen was smiling and waving as she was released from the Brooklyn hospital. 

She remains in a wheelchair, but she’s happy to be going home a day before her 17th birthday. 

Sobers-Batties was an innocent bystander who was struck by a stray bullet while playing in a playground outside the Gowanus Houses earlier this month.

The shooting happened around 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 1 in the vicinity of Wyckoff and Bond streets near the Nicholas Naquan Heyward Jr. Park.

It is believed she was not the intended target, police said.

“She was in the park minding her business, a good kid, a good student, a good person and a victim of senseless gun violence,” Chief Judith Harrison said.

The commanding officer of Patrol Borough Brooklyn North met with the teen before she was released.

Harrison told PIX11 News the same week the Sobers-Batties was shot, 15 others were also victims of gun violence  — most of them were young people. 

“I had people between the ages of 15 and 21, three 16 year olds were shot, two of them died, she walked out by the grace of God,” Harrison said.

The search for the shooter remains ongoing.

Sobers-Batties’s aunt had a message about the ongoing gun violence among the youth. 

“I hope that it can just stop. You’re ruining your future, someone else’s future,” she told PIX11 News.

A recent report from the NYPD showed shootings involving children and teenagers skyrocketing in the past year.

Between Jan. 1 and Sept. 26, there were 89 shooting victims ages 17 and younger — up from 84 in 2020 and 45 in 2019, per the NYPD.

Sixteen children or teens were shot and killed between Jan 1. and Sept. 26, an increase of over 136% compared to the same time period in 2019, when three young lives were claimed. In 2020, seven shooting victims ages 17 or younger died during that time frame. 

A GoFundMe has been set up to help pay for medical assistance and additional family support.

Correction: This story has been updated with the date of the initial incident.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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