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Bronx Teen Survived Life-Threatening Gunshot Wound to Head |
November 16, 2009 Vada Vasquez, a sophomore at Bronx Latin School, was walking home from school in the afternoon when she was struck in the head by a bullet aimed at someone else. The 15-year-old was in critical condition after undergoing surgery, but she miraculously survived although the parts of her brain that control speech and memory were affected. The event incited local politicians, including Mayor Bloomberg and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., to express their outrage at the state of gun violence in New York City.
The motive for the shooting was traced back to a confrontation between 19-year-old Tyrone Creighton, who has a criminal record, and a group of five young alleged gang members. The group of young men surrounded Creighton as he was walking down the street and threatened him. Creighton ran away from them as the gunman, 16-year-old Carvett Gentles, fired at least six shots from his friend’s gun aiming at the moving target. One bullet hit Vada Vasquez and another hit Creighton in the back, though he was in stable condition. The 16-year-old assailant confessed after he was found hiding in a friend’s apartment thanks to an anonymous tip. The police believe that Gentles and his friends targeted Creighton out of retaliation. Creighton’s two brothers, Kenneth, 20, and Dior, 21, both inmates at Rikers Island, were thought by rivals to be behind the beating of another prisoner.
Vada is a kind-hearted teen who never got into trouble and loved to draw and play her guitar and drums. Several months after the traumatic experience, Vada has made remarkable progress in her recovery but her speech remains impaired. However, Vada isn’t sad about the tragedy that happened to her, she’s just thankful to be alive.
Read the full article from the New York Times here.