11-Year-Old Brooklyn Girl Tayloni Mazyck Paralyzed by Stray Bullet
The New York Daily News reports that Tayloni Mazyck, 11, known to family and friends as “Tutu,” was with her mother and her infant niece when she was shot outside the door of her home at 600 Gates Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant at around 8:30 p.m. on Friday.
Mazyck was struck in the chin. The bullet, believed to be .9 mm, then tore through her neck and lodged in her spine.
“The spine was severed, and she will be paralyzed for life,” Brooklyn prosecutor Jordan Rossman told reporters.
“I can’t feel my body,” the girl reportedly said as she struggled to breathe immediately after getting shot.
“Daddy, I can’t move,” Mazyck told her father while crying in her hospital bed. “I can’t feel my legs. I can’t feel nothing.”
Mazyck, who weighs 200 pounds (90 kg), was saved by her obesity, according to her father, Robert Mazyck.
“It was the fatty tissue that saved her,” he told the Daily News. “The doctor said if she was thinner, she’d be dead.”
The alleged gunman, 17-year-old Kane Cooper, opened fire on two men believed to be from a rival gang as he walked down Throop Avenue, the Huffington Post reports.
According to the Daily News, Cooper, who was identified after authorities examined footage from a nearby surveillance camera, cackled when informed by police that he’d shot the child.
“When police told him he was being arrested for shooting an 11-year-old girl, his response was laughter,” Rossman alleged.
Cooper, whose prior record includes arrests for assaulting a police officer, trespassing and weapons possession, had been out on bail when he allegedly shot Mazyck. He has now been charged with attempted murder, assault, criminal use of a firearm and reckless endangerment.
“I just cannot believe that this happened to such a beautiful young child,” Michelle Fitzpatrick, the paralyzed girl’s aunt, told the Daily News. “She’s never going to be the same, and I don’t understand why people don’t get together and push the garbage out of the neighborhood.”
The tragic news comes just a couple of weeks after 14-year-old Daja Robinson of South Jamaica, Queens was killed by a stray bullet as she was riding a city bus home from a sweet 16 party.