Friday, February 02, 2007

Girl Shot Walking From School

The mayor of Hartford and all the other officials are always so busy trying to get businesses to invest in the city and to get well-off people to move back in. Why bother? The city can't even take care of its own and the kids are still being shot. I'm disgusted.

15-Year-Old Refused To Give Up Jewelry, iPod
And STEVEN GOODE Courant Staff Writers

February 2 2007

A 15-year-old sophomore who had stayed late at Bulkeley High School to finish a test was walking home alone Wednesday afternoon when a teenage boy wearing a ski mask jumped out of a silver car and demanded her iPod and jewelry.

"I'm not giving it up," the girl told her assailant in Spanish.

"I'm not joking," he threatened again and again.

Then the assailant raised his hand as if he meant to hit the girl in the head. She raised her arm to defend herself.

That's when he shot her, said Bulkeley Principal Miriam Morales Taylor, repeating the story Thursday that the girl told her from Hartford Hospital, where she is recovering.

The bullet went through the girl's arm and lodged in her torso. As she fell, the masked teenager, who police described as a Hispanic youth with blond hair, jumped back in the car and sped off, leaving the girl bleeding on Shultas Place, her iPod still in her possession.

Police said early Thursday that no one had been arrested, and later Thursday department officials were unavailable to comment.

The girl immigrated to Hartford from Peru less than a year ago and had stayed late at school to finish a Spanish exam.

Shultas Place is about a block from Bulkeley High in Hartford's South End. Morales Taylor said the girl told her there were no other pedestrians and no witnesses nearby about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday when she was attacked.

But a Shultas Place resident saw the girl pick herself up from the ground only to stumble and fall again.

The resident, who declined to give her name because she feared for her safety, said she was waiting for a cab in the lobby of her building Wednesday afternoon when she saw the girl staggering down the street asking for help.

She said the girl fell on her face in the middle of the street, and she went outside to help her.

"What happened?" the woman asked the girl, who started to pass out and fell on her face again.

"I asked her what happened again, and she said somebody shot her. She said she was shot because they were trying to steal her jewelry."

The woman asked a neighbor to call an ambulance after the girl said her arm and hand were burning. The woman removed the girl's coat and discovered a lot of blood, she said.

"She was dozing off. I thought this kid was going to die right there. I kept hitting her in the face to keep her awake."

The girl underwent surgery at Hartford Hospital, and Morales Taylor set off to find the girl's mother. She didn't want the mother to get the news from police.

"They came to America looking for a better life," Morales Taylor said. "Now the girl is terrified of coming back to school. Her mother wants more police patrolling around the city. She wants to make sure this doesn't happen to another child."

The girl's surgery was successful.

"She was lucky," said Morales Taylor, who stayed at the hospital through her surgery. "The bullet didn't damage any organs."

On Thursday, Morales Taylor spoke to students over the school's intercom.

She told them what happened on Shultas Place and reminded them of the importance of walking in pairs and taking care to know who is around them.

"I tell them all the time when I see them wearing their gold chains and carrying electronics not to have them visible," the principal said.

She told the students to be careful on the streets and not to display their gold chains or electronics such as iPods.

But if anyone demands their belongings, she said, she tells the kids, "be smart and give it up. You have a better chance to survive."

The woman who found the girl and made sure she was taken to the hospital was happy to learn Thursday that the girl is going to survive. The girl sent her a message through the principal.

"She told me that the girl said she wants to meet me," the woman said.

Contact Rachel Gottlieb at

Courant Staff Writer Helen Ubiñas contributed to this story.

Copyright 2007, Hartford Courant

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