Brooklyn Girl, 11, Paralyzed After Being Hit in Neck by Stray Bullet; Teen Arrested

The girl's father says doctors told him the bullet pierced her throat, ricocheted down her spine and lodged in her back

An 11-year-old girl set to graduate from elementary school later this month is paralyzed from the neck down after she was hit by a stray bullet when she walked out of her home in Brooklyn Friday night, and a 17-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the shooting, relatives and police say.

Tayloni Mazyck's father said doctors told him it was too early to tell if the paralysis would be permanent.

Mazyck was waiting for her aunt outside her Bedford-Stuyvesant home around 8:30 p.m. when a gunman walking down the street opened fire at two men standing outside of another residence, police said. 

A stray bullet pierced Mazyck's throat, ricocheting down her spine before lodging in her back, the girl's father says doctors told him.

Mazyck's father said she underwent surgery at a hospital Friday night, but the bullet remains in her back. 

Mazyck is scheduled to graduate from fifth grade at P.S. 44 this month. Her family says she loves math.

"Why, why my little sister?" the victim's 15-year-old brother asked through tears Saturday. "Why the baby? It didn't have to be her. Without her I don't know where I would be. I love my little sister." 

He had arrived home just moments after the ambulance whisked his wounded sister away.

Police say a surveillance camera captured an image of the suspect, who lives on the street where the shots were fired and was known to members of the NYPD anti-crime unit. They canvassed the area, spotted the suspect and took him into custody.

The teenager was arraigned Sunday on charges of attempted murder, assault, criminal use of a firearm and reckless endangerment. He remains in jail until his next court date on June 5.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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