By Bill Parry
City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst) has opened an education fund and launched a public fund-raising campaign for the children of Brandee Anastasia Massey, the pregnant mother of four who was shot and killed in front of her LeFrak apartment on the day before Thanksgiving. The baby girl she carried was delivered at Elmhurst Hospital Center but did not survive.
“These innocent children have suffered the greatest loss,” Ferreras said. “And while we cannot save them from a lifetime of pain and difficulty they will face growing up without a mother, as a community we can give them a fighting chance at a better future. We will not lose these children to violence and poverty like we lost her. By helping secure their education, we can put an end to the cycle now.”
All the money, raised online at www.rally.org/MasseyFund will go to the education of the four children. The oldest is just 9.
An initial pledge of $15,000 toward the establishment of the fund was made by LeFrak City Maintenance Services.
“Our family is slowly picking up the pieces, although my children will never have their lives made whole again,” the children’s father, Joseph Massey, said. “I do not wish this upon anyone — all I hope is that my wife’s killer is brought to justice so that he cannot hurt anyone and my children can have some closure. We’re profoundly thankful to the people who have opened their hearts to us and are supporting us through this tragedy.”
Last Friday, state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) announced that a reward for information leading to the arrest of Massey’s killer had been upped to $6,000. Police said she was shot in the hallway outside her apartment by a gunman who waited as she dropped her children off at PS 206. The NYPD had not made an arrest as of late, and investigators were still searching for Massey’s uncle, according to NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton.
“Our community mourns yet another loss to senseless gun violence, another family broken by a life taken too soon,” Borough President Melinda Katz said. “Our hearts and prayers are with the innocent survivors of this terrible tragedy. These children were robbed of their only mother in a most horrific way. As education is the strongest way to break the cycle of violence, let us give their futures and dreams a fighting chance.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 260–4538.