The mother of the 33-year-old woman who died in a hail of gunfire Friday while trying to protect young children who had just been dismissed from elementary school is urging the city to crack down on gangs and illegal guns.
Denise Peace stood beside the Rev. Al Sharpton and elected officials in Brooklyn Monday to urge the city to take more action against gun violence, days after the death of Zurana Horton.
"We are sending a signal to our young people that we can't protect them, and that they need to join a gang to be protected," Sharpton said. "I hope this incident can wake the city up."
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz said he is convening a meeting of community leaders and elected officials at Borough Hall to "discuss immediate actions we can take to stem the tide of violence in Brownsville and beyond."
Brownsville is one of the most crime-plagued neighborhoods in the city.
Horton was the third of her siblings to die from gun violence. Her two brothers were also killed in gunfire, according to their mother.
Horton, a mother of 12, died of a gunshot wound to the chest when she tried to protect students from a gunman on a rooftop who had opened fire on Watkins Street Friday just after school was dismissed at P.S. 298.
An 11-year-old girl was grazed in the face by a bullet, and another 31-year-old mother was shot in the arm and chest.
The girl, Cheanne McKnight, was doing well Monday, according to her mother. And she has Horton to thank for it.
"That woman died saving my child's life," said Harriet McKnight.
"I hope her family's okay, and that she's in a better place now," said the girl.
Horton's mother will now care for seven of her grandchildren while the other five stay with their father.
A collection has started at Horton's memorial, and is already filling up with donations from people who have been touched by her story. Community leaders are calling for Horton to be honored as a hero.