A Brooklyn woman who died after being shot multiple times after she confronted a group setting off illegal fireworks was simply following the advice of Borough President Eric Adams’ advice who suggested to New Yorkers they settle disputes neighbor-to-neighbor rather than calling 911.
The ‘advice’ saw Shatavia Walls, 33, winding up dead after being shot eight times in a barrage of bullets on July 7th.
Last month Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said that setting off illegal fireworks was a ‘nonviolent act’ and urged residents to ‘go talk to the young people or the people on your block who are using fireworks’ instead of calling 911 or 311.
Shatavia Walls, 33, died from being shot at eight times after she asked a group of people to stop setting off fireworks near a playground on July 7
Shatavia Walls, 33, was hit eight times in a barrage of bullets on July 7 at 1259 Loring Ave in the Pink Houses (above) around 8.30pm after she asked a man in her neighborhood to stop setting off fireworks. She died from her wounds on Friday
While visiting her mother, siblings and extended family in NYCHA’s Pink Houses in East New York on July 4th, Walls went to speak to a group who were seen to be setting off fireworks in a playground close to where young children were playing.
There was a scuffle between Walls and members of the group before she was chased back inside her mother’s building and shot at, according to Helen Testagros, Walls’ mother.
The first bullet missed her but Walls managed to pick up the shell casing and also managed to grab the driving license of the alleged gunman who dropped it as he ran away.
She then called 911 to report what had happened together with the details from the ID.
A police officer watches fireworks set off near a crime scene in Brooklyn on July 5
But three days later on July 7th, fireworks were once again being set off from the playground and Walls decided to speak to those who were lighting them.
The man who had previously shot at her three days earlier was not present initially but one of his friends went to fetch him.
‘He was chasing her, hopping over the gates, shooting,’ said Testagros to the New York Post.
‘He walked over. She was on the ground shot. And he kept shooting until the gun went ‘click, click, click,’ said Testagros.
Walls was hit a total of eights times. Her companion Kelvin Hernandez was also hit.
Last month Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said that setting off illegal fireworks is a ‘nonviolent act’ and urged residents to ‘go talk to the young people or the people on your block who are using fireworks’ instead of calling 911 or 311. A cop watches fireworks go off in Brooklyn on July 5
She was able to identify the person who fired the deadly shots from her hospital bed but ended up dying from her wounds three days later at Brookdale Hospital.
Her mother told the Post that she had specifically been following Adams’ advice in attempting to engage those who were setting off the explosives.
‘She watched the news. Yes, she heard it,’ Testagros said. ‘It was probably in the back of her mind.’
Testagros does not think the advice is sensible.
‘It’s not a good idea. You don’t know who you are approaching,’ she said. ‘These kids are not respectful anymore. … They’re more ruthless.’
The man who is alleged to have carried out the killing has not yet been arrested, charged or formally identified despite Walls making identifying the perpetrator.
‘We can never and will never condone any form of violence. The person who shot Ms. Walls must be found and held criminally responsible. My heart goes out to her and her entire family on this horrific incident,’ Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said. Pictured in a press conference on July 8
In a statement, Adams expressed his sympathies to Walls’ family but did not move to dissuade people from attempting a ‘neighborly approach.’
‘My heart goes out to the family of Shatavia Walls on this horrific incident. Gun violence has hurt too many innocent people in our city, from one-year-old Davell Gardner to this dynamic young lady. Dangerous people are shooting innocent people for senseless reasons. I renew my call for cracking down on the scourge of illegal guns.
‘Our call is to continue building an ecosystem of public safety that includes community response and police,’ Adams continued. ‘Whenever someone exhibits violence we should call the police, but whenever we can communicate peacefully with our neighbors, we should do so.