By Joseph Alexiou
One day after 10-year-old Dalila Gray was shot in the hand steps away from her home at 63 Stuyvesant Ave. in Bedford-Stuyvesant, her mother Dalila Ramirez wants to leave the neighborhood she has called home for 29 years.
“It’s gonna be hard to leave,” said Ramirez, 32. “I was 3 years old when my parents moved us to this building.”
About 7:40 p.m. on Monday night, Dalila Gray was outside of a corner store when an unidentified man shot a 24-year-old man at the intersection of Stuyvesant Avenue and Pulaski Street. He also hit Gray with a bullet that went through her wrist.
“I heard the shots and yelled to my husband, ‘The kids are outside,’” Ramirez recalled. Her daughter came inside, saying her hand was numb and that “she dare not look at it.” Ramirez found two bullet holes in the sleeve of her daughter’s sweater.
“Thank God, the doctors said she wasn’t hit in a serious place,” she said. “If it had been one inch off, her bones, nerves and tendons could have been completely messed up.”
This is not the first time Ramirez has heard gunshots outside of her home. She said that the presence of drug dealers around the area is not uncommon.
“I don’t want to have my kids in a place where they can’t go outside, have to be locked up in an apartment all day,” she said. “It’s just starting to get nice out. They said that crimes happen more when the weather is better.”
“I didn’t know what happened, it felt numb right away,” said Gray, who carried a serious expression and rarely blinked. Still able to move her fingers, she showed no outward signs of pain. While she didn’t get a good look at the shooter, she said he was fairly short, of mixed race and had a tattoo on his face.
“She only started crying at the hospital when I started crying, seeing how upset I was,” Ramriez said.
About 3 p.m. David Kilmore, Gray’s 5th grade teacher at PS 81 (located less than one block away from Ramirez’s apartment), arrived with two Mylar balloons, a chocolate mousse cheesecake from Junior’s, and a bunch of flowers. He also brought get-well notes from her class. Outside of her home, many classmates were clamoring to see Gray, including a young boy who claimed to be her boyfriend.
“Yeah I cried when I heard what happened!” he yelled, running up the stoop to visit his friend.
Seated on a couch in her home with Gray, who clutched a soft cast woven around her right hand and wrist, Ramirez repeated that her daughter is lucky.
“Thank god it was only her arm,” She said.