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Tears, shock, and outrage after 11-year-old girl killed by stray bullet in the Bronx

Bronx community grieving after 11-year-old is killed by stray bullet
Bronx community grieving after 11-year-old is killed by stray bullet 02:45

NEW YORK - Police are looking for the gunman behind the shooting that took the life of a little girl in the Bronx

The 11-year-old was struck by a stray bullet fired by someone riding a scooter. 

Kyhara Tay's parents broke down on the sidewalk where their daughter lost her life.

"Please be my angel," her mother wrote on a fast-growing memorial, her grief inconsolable.

"We're talking about an 11-year-old girl with her whole future. Her whole family devastated with this loss," Norka Sanchez, the victim's aunt, told CBS2's Christina Fan.

Family members weren't the only ones filled with pain and outrage. Neighbors, came with balloons, stuffed animals and candles, offered prayers and asking, "Why her?"

Paulette Soto wiped away tears after lighting a candle at a memorial on Fox Street where the 11-year-old Kyhara was gunned down. 

"It's gut wrenching. Especially in the South Bronx, where I grew up," Soto said. 

It hits home for Soto, a mother, but also an EMT. She says she responded to the scene Monday and rushed the little girl to the hospital. She returned Tuesday morning to pay her respects. 

"I just pray for the family. I give them all the love and care that I possibly can, and I want them to know that I tried my hardest and I got her to the hospital as fast as I could," Soto said. 

It all started around 5 p.m. 

Police say two people on a scooter were chasing a man along the sidewalk, shooting at him. They hit the innocent girl instead. 

The incident was caught on surveillance video, and posters of the suspects are plastered across the neighborhood. The NYPD and Crime Stoppers are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

"When I heard the shot, I told my son 'Get down, get down,'" witness Yuberkis Pena told CBS2's Jenna DeAngelis.

Witnesses scrambled to help the young girl as she stumbled into a nearby nail salon. Pena was in her car outside with her son and immediately ran inside. 

"That's when I see the girl. She fall, and she bleeding," Pena said. "When I opened her clothes and I see her bleeding, I see she got shot. I see the hole. I told the lady in the nail salon, give me napkins, give me glove, give me something."

Pena says she applied pressure on the wound until an ambulance arrived. Kyhara was rushed to Lincoln Hospital, where she later died. 

"I'm sorry that they were just simply walking down the street and then, the blink of an eye, they didn't know what was going to happen to their child," Soto said.

Kyhara's aunt described her niece as the perfect child: happy, beautiful and intelligent.

"This is very, very difficult for us to accept. This is the second child shot in this borough this year, an 11-month-old and now an 11-year-old," said NYPD Deputy Chief Timothy McCormack. 

Sentiments echoed by community members who came to the memorial with stuffed animals, prayers and calls for change. 

"The gun violence is really ridiculous in New York City, especially here in the Bronx ," said Bronx resident Diane Whittington. 

"I'm a mother, and just like any other mother we're touched by what's going on and we need to do more. We need to do more to save our kids," said parent Shameka Morris.

Kyhara's family is only pleading for one thing.

"We want somebody to say something. Please, please, please say something if you know, please, because this is ridiculous," her aunt said.

In the search for the suspects, the NYPD is using surveillance cameras to follow the path of the scooter to hopefully track down those involved. 

Anyone with any information is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit a tip via their website or via DM on Twitter, @NYPDTips. All calls are kept confidential.  

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