Authorities are on the lookout for a teen cyclist who they suspect shot a 9-year-old girl Friday evening in the Bronx. There is a $22,000 reward pending capture.
Amanda Chauan was shot in the stomach allegedly by 17-year-old Billy James Jr., who fits the description of a young black male who was seen riding a BMX-style bike through the Bronx neighborhood between 9:30 and 9:45 pm.
The young man discharged at least six rounds from a firearm as he passed by – in a manner which resident witnesses described as rapid-fire, reports the New York Daily News. One of the bullets grazed the third-grader in the stomach, causing a serious wound, as she played just outside of her Bailey Avenue & West 234th Street apartment complex with her younger brother Gustavo, 5.
Thereafter, the suspect sped off into the darkness down a cross-street.
Their mother was inside, upstairs. The girl’s younger brother and mother’s boyfriend witnessed the crime in horror.
By the time paramedics reached the crime scene, Amanda was already at North Central Bronx Hospital. She was later transferred to Jacobi Medical Center for additional treatment and recovery. She was last listed in stable condition.
Investigators are unsure if Amanda was an intended target or a victim of blatant random recklessness. Either way they are still seeking to detain and question Billy in connection.
According to one observer, Sam Fernandez, 27, the shooter initially rode in a circle to scope out a group congregated next to the parking lot near the building, and then sprayed the crowd with bullets. People scattered for cover.
Police say this is the third child to be shot in the last month in situations of crossfire. On May 18, D’aja Robinson, 14, was shot dead on a Queens bus at the hands of a teen gang-banger. Two weeks later, Tayloni Mazyck, 11, was shot in the neck in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
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