Five people, including a 16-year-old boy, have been arrested in connection with a shooting Monday that left a Bronx girl fighting for her life.
Vada Vasquez was shot in the head while walking home from her school, Bronx Latin, near Prospect Avenue and Home Street.
This morning, police said they had arrested five people and the alleged shooter is a 16-year-old boy identified as Carvette Gentile.
Police sources said it appears the stray bullet that hit Vasquez was part of a revenge attack on 19-year-old Tyrone Creighton, who was also shot and wounded in the melee.
The source says Creighton has relatives who are jailed on Rikers Island and got involved in a fight while behind bars. Investigators believe a victim from the jail house brawl put out a hit on Creighton to get even.
The others arrested and charged with attempted murder were: Rohan Francis, 18, Cleve Smith, 20, Clivie Smith, 19, and Dwayne Taylor, 23. As they were led out of the police precinct they yelled they were "set up" and didn't do anything wrong.
The suspects charged with attempted murder face up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the group are members of the Bloods street gang and all but the alleged shooter have "extensive criminal records."
In a statement read out their front door today, Gentile's family said their thoughts and prayers with with Vasquez and her family. A candlelight vigil was held for the girl last night.
Witnesses described a gruesome scene where the girl was lying on the ground, not moving, with blood pooling all around her.
"At first, she was just still. She woke up after a couple of minutes. She jumped up - I told her to lay down, stay calm," Jessica Sepulveda told the Daily News. "When she moved, the blood started coming out. She had no idea what was going on."
Paramedics quickly applied pressure to the back of her head to stop the bleeding. The bullet broke apart in the middle of Vasquez's brain and never left her head, reports the News. She was speaking when cops first arrived at the scene, but doctors at Lincoln Hospital placed her in a medically induced coma for surgery, sources told the paper.
"This shouldn't happen to a little girl who was on her way home from school," Vasquez's sister, Allison, told the News. "This is a tragedy."
Vasquez appeared to be in stable condition Tuesday morning, but doctors say the next few days will be a crucial test.
"The events over the past couple of days has been tragic. We are heart broken over the whole incedent. We pray daily for young Vada Vasquez and Tyrone Creighton and hope they make a speedy recovery. We express our deepest sympathy to both families."