Shocked Brooklyn mom faints twice after 9-year-old daughter is shot while playing at a park

Stephen Nartey June 05, 2024
Alexander, 36, was at work on Monday as a security guard when she received the call about her daughter and niece being struck by stray bullets. Photo credit: ABC7 New York

A Brooklyn mother, Melissa Alexander, fainted twice upon learning her 9-year-old daughter, Ruanna Paris Brown, had been shot while playing at a park. Alexander, 36, was at work on Monday as a security guard when she received the call about her daughter and niece, 11-year-old Empress Alexander Davis, being struck by stray bullets at Hilltop Playground in Brownsville.

“Once they called me, I rushed back home. I was on my way home pretty much,” Alexander said to the New York Post. “I rushed even faster. I broke down in the street. I passed out twice, three times because I just couldn’t believe it. I went to the hospital.”

“This has happened before in the park,” the worried mom added. “It’s many days when I tell my daughter,  ‘I don’t want you in the park today.’ Sometimes I just have my feelings and my moments, I don’t like the park. Every time it gets warm this is what happens. Either it’s fighting or shooting or something.”

Brown, who was shot in the leg, was released from the hospital early Tuesday. Her cousin, Empress Alexander Davis, remains at Brookdale Hospital undergoing tests after being shot in the back, according to the New York Post.

The youngsters, described as “best friends” by Brown’s mother, were playing at the playground when two gunmen targeting someone else opened fire, hitting both girls, police said.

“People just started shooting out of nowhere — wildfire. They don’t know where exactly it came from. They were running. They didn’t even realize they got shot at first,” Alexander said.

Davis’ mother witnessed the girls being shot and the unidentified gunmen fleeing the scene. The suspects remain at large.

“I’m here and I’m just blessed because my baby is still with me,” Davis’ mom Michelle Alexander said from the hospital Tuesday night, telling The Post that doctors did not take the bullet out, but “are gonna let it go through the process and let the tissue and broken bones and everything heal.”

“She got shot in the right side of her back,” she said of Davis. “When she gets the medicine she’s fine. When it wears off, she feels it.”

Zamayah Henry, 13, was also at the playground, watching her siblings play with Brown and Davis.

“All of a sudden I heard these loud pops… It was out of nowhere,” Henry said, saying she saw gunmen with ski masks covering their faces.

“After two shots went off everybody was scattering. I see everybody run in different ways and they were laying on the ground,” she recalled. “One of [the wounded girls], she ran, she’s like, ‘Oh, I’m shot,’ and blood was running down her leg.”

The NYPD is investigating the shooting as a potential gang-related incident, noting that the two girls were innocent bystanders.

“This is gonna be a gang-motivated shooting due to the area where it happened and the kids that were inside of the playground at the time,” NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Operations Kaz Daughtry told WPIX-TV Tuesday.

“But we’re not ready to officially call it gang yet but we’re learning towards [a] gang-motivated shooting,” Daughtry said.

Murders in the NYPD’s 73rd Precinct, covering Hilltop Playground, have risen to 13 this year, up from four in the same period in 2023. The area, including Brownsville and Ocean Hill, has seen 24 shootings with 28 victims, compared to 16 shootings with 17 victims last year.

For Alexander, these statistics have become personal. “I’m hurt, I’m disturbed, I’m at a loss for words,” she said about the stray bullet shooting that injured her daughter.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: June 5, 2024


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