The shooting happened inside Arcilla Playground in the Concourse section around 8:00 p.m.
“She had blood pouring down her braids. Down her shirt. She was leaking. Nobody knew what was going on,” Russell Thomas, whose 17-year-old daughter was one of the wounded, said.
The bullet grazed the back of her head and nicked her skull. She remained in ICU at Harlem Hospital on Tuesday.
“She was drastically scared for her life. She was saying, ‘daddy, I don’t want to die,'” he said.
Tamiyah Thomas just graduated high school with honors in Virginia. She and her twin sisters flew to New York to visit relatives in the Melrose section of the Bronx.
Monday night, she called her father to say they were having a fun family barbeque on Teller Ave.
Several hours later, shots were fired into a basketball game and blood was pouring from her head.
Another innocent bystander, another 17-year-old girl, was shot in the leg. She too is expected to survive.
The playground remained locked on Tuesday. Crime scene tape provided a grim reminder that gunfire is too familiar.
“We’re in an impoverished neighborhood. We’re trying our best. Parents are trying the best they can do. This is a safe haven to bring kids to the park,” resident Anthony Rodriguez said.
Street violence is exactly why Russell Thomas did not want to raise his family in the Bronx. He and his wife raced up to Harlem hospital praying for a full recovery.
Surveillance video shows the crowd running from the park after the shooting. Some duck into a deli for shelter. The worker moved them away from the glass window and locked the front door.
“Put the guns down. Let’s come together. Let’s fellowship together. That’s the only way to help the community,” Thomas said.
Police arrested a man with a gun on Monday night, but charges had not been filed as of this writing.
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