By Rebecca Henely
A 15-year-old girl was hit by a stray bullet that came in through a third-floor window at the Queensbridge Houses early Sunday morning while she was doing her homework, a member of the tenants association said.
Ray Normandeau, who acts as the press secretary for the association, said a young girl in one of the apartments, at 40-15 10th St., had been up at about 5:08 a.m. when a bullet struck her hand. The girl had a habit of getting up early in the morning to do homework, Normandeau said.
“This is so commonplace that one is almost inured to this,” Normandeau said of shootings in the Long Island City housing project between Vernon Boulevard, Queens Plaza, 22nd Street and 40th Avenue.
A Police Department spokeswoman said the 15-year-old victim was shot in the left hand and that the NYPD received the first 911 call at around 5:16 a.m. The teenager was taken to Weill Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan, where she was listed in stable condition, the spokeswoman said.
The family of the victim could not be reached.
Normandeau said the bullet was probably fired during a fight that occurred a few feet away on the ground below her window. He was one of three people who called 911. While he has not spoken to the girl’s family, he said he had heard the girl was going into surgery Monday.
Normandeau said the poor lighting in the building contributed to the shooting of the girl. He pointed out that 40-15 10th St.’s canopy light above the building’s entrance does not light and this allows perpetrators of crimes to get away with incidents. He said multiple shootings have occurred in the public housing community.
“This happens on a regular basis,” he said.
The canopy light has been repaired since the incident.
He condemned the New York City Housing Authority and Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration for not better maintaining the buildings. He said his own canopy light for his building had been out since July until being repaired a few weeks ago, and that a light in his hallway took a month to repair.
“They don’t care,” Normandeau said.
NYCHA said in an e-mailed response that it has been working to increase security at housing developments with more cameras, wireless key cards and modern intercom systems through various Council members’ discretionary funding.
“The safety and security of our residents is of great importance to the New York City Housing Authority,” NYCHA said. “We have had a comprehensive strategy in place to improve security in our public housing communities since the beginning of the year.”
Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4564.