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Parents Say Children Who Narrowly Avoided Gunfire In Brazen Mount Eden Shooting Are Suffering Mental Trauma

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Innocent children, swept up in the wave of gun violence. They were caught in the crossfire as they walked to a bodega across the street from their home in the Mount Eden section of the Bronx.

Their parents say it's a miracle the brother and sister were not seriously injured, but added they are traumatized.

The video of that shooting is so disturbing. A gunman is seen trying to kill another man, with bullet after bullet whizzing right past two helpless children -- a 13-year-old girl, and her 5-year-old brother.

Their mom and dad spoke to reporters, including CBS2's Tony Aiello, on Monday afternoon.

The parents, originally from the Dominican Republic, are shaken and fearful. So much so they asked that CBS2 blur the children's faces, even after they appeared smiling on a Yankees broadcast as guests of the team.

Parents Christian and Diana witnessed the nightmarish gunfire from their window overlooking Sheridan Avenue. A man blasted bullets at his 24-year-old target, even as he became tangled up with Mia and Christian.

1548-21 44 Pct Assault 6-17-21 update
Police say this man is a person of interest in a brazen shooting in the Bronx, where two innocent children got caught between the victim and the gunman. (Credit: NYPD Crime Stoppers)

Almost miraculously, the children survived with minor physical injuries, but their parents said they suffered major mental trauma.

A British tabloid is calling them "The Kids who Cheated Death."

"They have trauma," the father said. "They can't sleep. They are nervous. The boy sleeps on top of me. The girl sleeps by my side."

Surveillance video shows 13-year-old Mia cradling her 5-year-old brother as the final bullets flew Thursday afternoon.

"The young lady that pretty much saved her brother. She pretty much covered him up. I'm not sure what it takes to get the key to the city, but I nominate her," NYPD Chief of Department Rodney Harrison said.

Politicians who visited the family over the weekend said Mia told them she hopes to be a cop some day.

The neighborhood is plastered with pictures of the suspect.

Elected officials said getting guns off the street is one thing, convincing people to stop using them is another.

"The mentality of some of our young people, where they think it's okay to shoot someone over minor disputes, over loud music, over parking spaces, over drugs, over women andmen, it's not acceptable. It's painful for us," Bronx City Councilmember Vanessa Gibson said.

"Please stop this wave of delinquency on our streets," the father said. "It's a miracle my kids are alive. Thank God, but it could happen to any other child or parent."

Shootings are up 150% so far this year in the 44th Precinct. Chief Harrison said the NYPD is making good progress in its search for the gunman, adding the man who was shot at will survive.

The father told Councilmember Gibson the family will likely move out of the neighborhood and relocate elsewhere in an attempt to put the trauma behind them.

Anyone who has information regarding this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-8477 or for Spanish, 1-888-577-4782. Tips can also be sent to the NYPDTips Twitter account or submitted online at

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