In a span of just minutes, a 7-year-old Hempstead girl went from playing outside her grandmother's apartment to bleeding from a gunshot wound and seeking answers to a question no child should ever have to ask — "Am I going to die?”
She luckily survived after being hit by a stray bullet Saturday afternoon. But her emotional recovery is just beginning, said the girl's family, who have questions of their own about the shooting, which could have ended with them "making funeral arrangements,” said Patricia Murphy, the child's grandmother.
Elected leaders and gun advocates stood in front of Hempstead Village Hall on Wednesday and called for tougher gun legislation and a bill by Sen. Kevin Thomas (D-Levittown) to increase penalties for trafficking illegal guns from southern states to New York up the I-95 corridor, which has been dubbed “The Iron Pipeline.”
Thomas said the shooter who struck the girl was believed to be a young man who should not have had access to a gun.
“There’s a sense of urgency spreading across communities in New York, not just in Hempstead, that people don’t feel safe and we need to change that,” Thomas said. “The one major factor when how gun violence happens and that’s easy access. These gun cartels think they can flood our streets with dangerous weapons because current laws on criminal possession are too lax.”