NYC Crime: Gunshots injure 2 teenage girls in Bronx playground

BRONX, N.Y. (WABC) – Gunfire inside a playground in the Bronx on Monday night injured 2 teenage girls, both bystanders.

The shooting occurred inside the Arcilla Playground in the Concourse section around 8:00 p.m.

“She had blood running down her braids. On her shirt. She was leaking. Nobody knew what was going on,” said Russell Thomas, whose 17-year-old daughter was one of the injured.

The bullet grazed the back of his head and gouged his skull. She remained in intensive care at Harlem Hospital on Tuesday.

“She was terribly scared for her life. She was like, ‘Daddy, I don’t want to die,'” he said.

Tamiyah Thomas just graduated high school with honors in Virginia. She and her twin sisters flew to New York to visit relatives in the Melrose section of the Bronx.

On Monday night, she called her dad to tell him they were having a fun family barbecue on Teller Ave.

Several hours later, shots were fired in a basketball game and blood poured from his head.

Another innocent bystander, another 17-year-old girl, was shot in the leg. She too should survive.

The playground remained closed on Tuesday. The crime scene tape provided a grim reminder that the gunshots are all too familiar.

“We’re in a poor neighborhood. We’re doing our best. The parents are doing their best. It’s a safe haven to bring the kids to the park,” resident Anthony Rodriguez said.

Street violence is exactly why Russell Thomas didn’t want to raise his family in the Bronx. He and his wife rushed to the hospital in Harlem praying for a full recovery.

Surveillance video shows the crowd fleeing the park after the shooting. Some hide in a deli for shelter. The worker pulled them away from the glass and locked the front door.

“Lay down the guns. Let’s come together. Let’s communicate together. This is the only way to help the community,” Thomas said.

Police arrested a man with a gun on Monday evening, but no charges had been filed at the time of this writing.

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Harold B. McConnell