Local authorities in Queens are investigating a shooting that took place in the neighborhood of Fresh Meadows on Wednesday that wounded three teens, including a 14-year-old bystander.
Kaitlyn Lau, who was shot in the neck while walking home from school, was likely an unintended victim of gang-related gunfire, according to initial reports.
According to investigators, gunshots were heard after two cars pulled up next to a group of 10 to 12 teens at 188th St. near 186th Ln. at around 4 P.M.
Four unidentified men approached the teens and engaged in a verbal argument. Shortly after, one of the men pulled out a gun and fired several times at the group before fleeing the scene in a dark gray sedan.
On Friday, the New York Police Department released a photo of four men who are wanted for questioning in relation to the incident.
Witness Patrice Fredrick told the New York Post that she looked out her window after hearing 10 or 12 shots.
“I looked out my window and saw the kids running, 15 or 16 of them,” the 68-year-old was quoted as saying. “I heard the kids yelling, ‘They shot! They shot!’”
Lau, who is believed to not have been part of the group, was rushed to Long Island Jewish Medical Center in critical condition.
“I’m definitely in shock!” said Fedora Gurrero, a tenant of Lau’s family. “She’s a great kid! They’re a beautiful family. They have two kids, they’re all very hardworking, oh my God! This is very scary.”
According to the fundraising campaign created by Lau’s relatives on GoFundMe, the bullet that hit the victim remains stuck in her spinal cord.
“The doctors were unable to safely remove the bullet, and their prognosis is that she may be paralyzed below the neck for the rest of her life,” the GoFundMe page read.
Also hurt in the shooting were 18-year-olds Ahmed Khalji and Rikhai Connelly, who were hit in the hip and in the leg, respectively. They were also immediately brought to hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. Authorities believe that one of them may have been the intended target of the shooting.