Police released photos of four suspects wanted in connection with the attack believed to be gang-related.
Authorities say two cars pulled up next to a group of 10 to 12 teenagers walking on the sidewalk near 64-50 188th Street in Fresh Meadows shortly after 4 p.m.
It was then that the four unidentified suspects approached the group of teenagers and argued verbally.
Police say one of the suspects then pulled out a gun and fired several shots at the group before getting back into a dark gray sedan which fled the scene heading north on 188th Street.
“All of a sudden I hear gunshots, and I’m like I know it’s gunshots, it’s not fireworks,” said a witness named Vincent. “I told my son to come home.”
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The 14-year-old girl, who was walking around and was not part of the group, was struck in the neck.
She was rushed to Long Island Jewish Medical Center in critical but stable condition.
“She’s a wonderful child,” said her neighbor Fedora Guerrero. “Their family is a really nice family. They’re hard working parents. Yeah, I’m definitely in shock. Like, I can’t believe it.”
Police said those walking did not all know each other and some were returning home from nearby Francis Lewis High School.
Two 18-year-old men, one of whom may have been the intended target, were also shot dead.
They were both kicked in the leg and taken to NY Presbyterian Queens in stable condition.
One of the bullets shattered Patrice Frederick’s windshield just 15 minutes after she parked her car.
“I heard these fast gunshots, and I was just like, ‘This can’t be what I think it is,'” she said. “Things are really out of control, that now they’re coming to a nice, quiet residential area like this. And they’re kids.”
So far, no arrests have been made and the investigation is continuing.
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In response to the nearby shooting, the Department of Education brought in a metal detector to check students entering school on Thursday morning and recovered 20 weapons, including knives, from the unannounced screening.
No weapon was recovered.
“You just have to hope she pulls through,” said junior Juanes Rojas. “She’s a 14-year-old girl. You feel like she didn’t deserve this. She’s got a whole life ahead of her, it’s happening to her. It’s scary. You just have to watch who you hang out with. For Honestly, that must be a lesson to a lot of people, you can’t hang out with the wrong team, because then you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The Department of Education would not comment on the shooting.
“There should be no doubt that the safety of New York City is my top priority,” Mayor Eric Adams said. “Our schools are safe because educators, school leaders and school safety officers work in close coordination to create supportive environments for students where they can focus on their schoolwork and not their safety. Although violent crime and general incidents in schools are on the decline, we can and will always strive to make schools safer It is unacceptable for contraband to be brought into school, which is exactly why our security officers School Safety are conducting random scans across the city every day. Today’s random scan at Francis Lewis High School revealed a number of prohibited items, but not a single firearm. We will continue to focus on keeping our schools safe, so our young people can focus on learning.
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