Four Suspects Questioned in Shooting of Bronx Teen

Victim the latest in a string of innocents felled by stray gunfire

By Tim Minton, Glenn Zimmermann and Jennifer Millman
|  Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009  |  Updated 7:14 AM EDT
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Candlelight Vigil For Teen Shot While Coming Home From School

Vada Vasquez

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Detectives are questioning four suspects in the shooting of an innocent 15-year-old girl in the Bronx, the NYPD said.

Meantime, Vada Vasquez  is still fighting for her life after being shot in the head while walking home from her school, Bronx Latin, near Prospect Avenue and Home Street Monday afternoon.

A source with knowledge of the investigation says police believe the intended target, who was also shot and wounded Monday, was 19-year-old Tyrone Creighton who was singled out for revenge.

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.

Police conducted lineups and are close to an arrest, sources said.

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.

Vasquez is the latest victim in a long line of innocents felled by stray gunfire. More than half a dozen people have been killed by wayward bullets this year, compared with just four in 2008 – and three of those slain have been teenagers, reports the News.

Others, including an 11-year-old Little League player from Brooklyn, have been shot but lived.

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