Police investigate the shootings Friday afternoon in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. Zurana Horton, a mother of 12, died of a gunshot wound to the chest as she tried to shield schoolkids from a hail of gunfire from a rooftop.
The mother of 12 who died after she was hit by gunfire on a Brooklyn street Friday also lost two brothers to gun violence in past years.
Zurana Horton, 33, was killed outside a supermarket on Pitkin Avenue and Watkins Street in Brownsville after picking up her daughter from her elementary school down the street.
Police say she hovered over a crowd of schoolchildren when shots were fired, and died from a gunshot wound to the chest. Another woman and an 11-year-old girl were also shot; they survived.
The New York Post spoke
over the weekend to Horton's mother, Denise Peace, who shared the sad family history that killed her two other children.
"All three children died from gunfire," the 54-year-old healthcare worker told the Post.
In 1991, she lost her 16-year-old son, Quan, who was shot in a robbery for his "8-ball" jacket in Bushwick. Another son, Zacquran, was shot and killed in the same neighborhood last year.
“I’m so mad that I get numb,” Peace said. “I don’t know how I feel. I have to be strong for my grandchildren. I have not broken down yet.”
Horton's 15-year-old daughter Jenisha told the paper that she walked by her mother as she lay dead on the street without knowing who was underneath the sheet.
"I was wondering where my mother was," she said. "I found out later [the body] was my mother."
"I'm trying to be strong, keep my head up," she added. "That how my mom taught me."
Police are still looking for two men in connection with the shooting, and believe the incident was gang-related. The women and girl who were shot were not believed to be targeted.
The investigation is continuing. Police are offering a $12,000 reward.
The school's neighborhood, Brownsville, is located in southeastern Brooklyn and is among the most crime-plagued in the city.
Meanwhile, Horton's neighbors paid tribute to her over the weekend as they marched in her honor.
The walk for peace on Sunday started at the spot where Horton was shot and killed. It then went by the housing projects in the Bronxville section.
The residents were joined by politicians and community activists who called for the violence to stop in their neighborhood.
The marchers called on their neighbors to report anything they know about the shooting to police.
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Published at 12:41 PM EDT on Oct 23, 2011
Copyright Associated Press / NBC New York