YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — An AK-47 round that Youngstown police say was probably meant for someone else has possibly ruined a woman’s basketball career.
The woman, whose mother does not want to name her because she is afraid of retaliation, was wounded late Sunday evening in a shooting at Market Street and East Florida Avenue where at least 47 rounds were fired.
Detective Sgt. Michael Lambert, lead investigator on the case, said the victim, an 18-year-old East Side woman, was not the intended target. Lambert said she was either targeted by accident or at the least was caught in the crossfire between two different shooters.
Charges have yet to be filed.
Tralene Wilson, the aunt of the victim, said she was leaving her South Side home to return to the East Side when she was shot.
“She’s in shock,” Wilson said of the victim. “She keeps saying, ‘I can’t believe I got shot.’ I’m just concerned as to why someone would do it.”
The woman is one of 16 people shot this month, two fatally. The city has seen at least 30 shootings this month. Detectives confirmed Thursday that a man who was found with injuries Oct. 8 following a traffic accident at Firnley and West Indianola avenues was not only hurt in the accident but also wounded by gunfire.
Sunday, officers were called for a gunshot sensor activation with at least 47 rounds fired at Market Street and East Florida Avenue. On their way there, they were flagged down by the victim at Market and Cleveland streets, who reports said told police she was fired upon by people in two different vehicles. She was taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center to be treated for a gunshot wound to her leg.
Police collected 47 shell casings at the scene.
The victim’s mother said her daughter played high school basketball and had recently graduated. She was looking to play basketball in college, possibly as a walk-on, but she was struck by two AK-47 rounds in the leg, which shattered the bone.
Chances are her daughter’s career is over, the victim’s mother said.
The victim’s mother also did not want to give her name, saying she is afraid of retaliation, but she said her daughter has never been in trouble. She works now and goes to school and was hoping to continue playing basketball.
Wilson said her niece keeps out of trouble.
“She does hair. She goes to work. That’s about it,” Wilson said.
Wilson knows some of the mental anguish her niece is going through. She said her house was shot up about two years ago and she has no idea why.
She was asleep when gunfire broke out and awakened by her husband, she said.
“We got down on the floor so we wouldn’t get hit,” she said.
Wilson said there is a field across the street from her house and she is not sure if her house was shot at by mistake or if it was hit when the shooter aimed at someone but missed.
“It’s scary,” she said. “Any bullet can hit you. Then you’re worried, ‘why are they shooting at my house?’ and, ‘what if they come back?’ This whole thing is just really, really, scary.”
For the year in Youngstown, unofficially, at least 86 people have been shot, 24 of them fatally.
Last year, Youngstown saw 20 homicides.
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