- Zurana Horton, 34, a mother of 12, was fatally shot in 2011 while picking up her daughter, 11, from school
- A second mother who testified was shot in her arm as well as an 11-year-old girl
- Testimony by a second witness has been delayed after allegedly threatened with death by the brother of the accused gunman
By NINA GOLGOWSKI
Jurors on Thursday watched video capturing the horrific moment a mother was gunned down in broad daylight while picking up her 11-year-old daughter outside a New York City school.
Behind her another mother was seen shot in her arm before staggering against a wall while trying to hide her own son from the alleged gang members’ stray gunfire from a nearby rooftop.
This frightening surveillance video was presented at the Brooklyn Supreme Court on Thursday during the trial of two men accused in killing Zurana Horton, 34, a mother of 12, in 2011 and wounding two others, including an 11-year-old girl.
Prosecutors say Andrew Lopez, 20, an alleged 8 Block gang member fired the shots meant for rival gang members from the Howard Projects while his brother Jonathan Carrasquillo, 24, gave the orders.
‘When me and my son were on the floor, I noticed Mrs Horton fall down. I honestly thought she was shot in the head. There was blood,’ said Unique Armstead, who was shot along with an 11-year-old girl nearby according to the New York post.
Mrs Armstead says that just before the shots were fired she passed a group of young men arguing on the street about a gun. Her testimony matched prosecutors’ claims.
Feeling uneasy, she says ‘I speed-walked to my son, and I held him. I was scared. I was trying to get out of harm’s way.’
Senseless death: Mrs Horton, a mother of 12 from Brooklyn, is seen in photos taken a few years before she was tragically killed while innocently picking up her daughter from school in 2011
She took her son into a nearby store to wait it out. When the fight appeared to die down, she says she slipped back onto the street with her son by her side when a stray bullet shot straight into her arm.
She next saw Horton fall down dead.
Mrs Horton is seen sprawled out on the sidewalk beside a pool of blood on the surveillance video.
‘I speed-walked to my son, and I held him. I was scared. I was trying to get out of harm’s way.’
– Unique Armstead testified of final moments before shots rang out
Witnesses are seen cowering in fear around her.
‘At the time, I thought it was a brick, but it was a bullet,’ Mrs Armstead said of her injury.
Lopez, who was 18 at the time of the shooting, confessed to being the rooftop sniper according to initial reports by the New York Daily News.
The gunman said the shooting near Public School 298 in Brownsville had stemmed from a turf war between two Brooklyn gangs.
Lopez told police that ‘he did not mean to shoot the ladies,’ the source said.
A second witness had expected to testify in the shooting on Thursday as well but after threatened with death by the brother of the alleged gunman, their testimony has been delayed until Monday.
‘The man is an emotional wreck,’ Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Vincent Del Giudice said, according to the Post.
Lopez has been linked to a Brooklyn gang known as ‘8 Block,’ who police say are engaged in a turf battle with the neighboring Young Guns gang.
Scene: The gunfire erupted from this Brooklyn apartment where the 8 block gang are said to have originated from and taken their name
More victims: In addition to Mrs Horton’s shooting, another mother was shot in her arm as well as an 11-year-old girl
NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly said: ‘We’re certainly pleased with the fact that the investigation has identified Mr. Lopez and he’s made statements and apparently made a full confession,’ the Daily News reported.
Lopez told police he was aiming for rival gang members when a stray bullet hit the mother of 13 who was collecting her children from school.
Horton was planning to marry her boyfriend on Valentine’s Day in 2012.
Also arrested were Lopez’ half-brother, 17-year-old Kristian, and Carrasquillo.
All three live in a fifth-floor apartment inside 1800 Pitkin Ave., the same building from where the gunman opened fire, police said.
That apartment building is said to be where 8 Block got their name, the Post reported in 2011.
Carrasquillo was charged with murder, and Kristian Lopez was arrested for possession of a baseball bat, police said.
Andrew Lopez had a previous arrest for walking down Pitkin Ave. brandishing a loaded gun three years ago, sources told the Daily News.
The shooting frenzy in which at least 12 shots were fired began just 13 minutes after school finished.
Cheanne McKnight, 11, is recovering from a graze wound to her cheek, while a 31-year-old Brooklyn mom was shot in the arm.
Police recovered 12 9-mm shell casings on the roof of the Pitkin Avenue apartment and the sidewalk.