New York

‘Total Chaos': Two Women Dead After Gunmen Fire Into Crowd, Police Say

Two women in their 20s are dead after two gunmen opened fire into a crowd of people outside a housing complex in Brooklyn Wednesday night, police say.

The NYPD says officers found the two women unconscious and unresponsive near the Stuyvesant Garden Houses in Bed-Stuy around 9:30 p.m. There were children in the area at the time of the shooting, witnesses said. 

Chynna Battle, 21, was shot in the head and taken to Woodhull Hospital, where she died, according to police. The second victim, 29-year-old Shaqwanda Sealy, was shot in the back and taken to Kings County Hospital, where she also died.

Police tell News 4 New York that the women were sitting with other people in the courtyard of the complex when two men walked up and opened fire.

"People were running, screaming, yelling, crying, and all I could do was just look out my window," said Janasha Perry, a resident in the complex.

Battle's aunt tells News 4 the family believes the shooter was targeting someone else. She said video posted by Battle Wednesday night shows the women were hanging out and playing cards just hours before the shooting. 

Battle leaves behind a 3-year-old daughter, according to her stepmother, Sandra Burton. 

Curtis Campbell said he heard the shots ring out and then saw the women sprawled out in the courtyard. 

Meanwhile, residents said the entire neighborhood is in "total chaos." 

"They were neighbors," Campbell said. "I see them everyday. They go to work and they come home."   

Police said nobody has been arrested and the investigation is ongoing. They said they are looking for at least two men in connection with the shooting. 

Battle lived a block from where the shooting happened. Her stepmother says the family is distraught and Battle's young daughter hasn't been told of her mother's death. 

"I was in denial, but reality hit me when they let us in the room and I see my stepdaughter laying in that [hospital] bed," said Burton. 

"What the hell are they thinking?" Burton said of the shooters. "You're taking other family members' loved ones away, and it's not right. How the hell would they feel if it was someone in their family?" 

She described Battle as funny, smart and loving, beloved by everyone who knew her. Burton said whoever fired the shot or shots that killed her stepdaughter turned her world upside down.

"I have no forgiveness in my heart right now," she said. 

Police were canvassing the neighborhood Thursday and posting fliers seeking leads in their investigation into the shooting. 

A vigil for the women was being held for the women at the courtyard early Thursday evening. 

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