Brooklyn Mom Killed Protecting Kids from Gang Violence

Friends and family say Zurana Horton was a devoted mother of 13 who had plans of moving her family to a safer neighborhood.

Posted: 10/23/2011 11:36 AM EDT
Filed Under Crime

Zurana Horton, a 34-year-old mother of 13 was shot and killed Friday in the Brownsville area of Brooklyn, New York while trying to shield a group of neighborhood children from gang gunfire.

"She gave her life for those kids, and she would have done it all again because that's just the kind of person she was," said Horton's ex-boyfriend, O'Niel Vaughn, 43, the father of eight of the children, according to The New York Daily News.

Reports say the shootout began around 2:30 p.m. on Friday, just as students were being dismissed from a local public elementary school.  As shots began to ring out, police say Hurton “was seen moments before she was shot, hovering over several children to protect them as the shots were fired,” Paul J. Browne, the New York Police Department’s chief spokesman told The New York Times. “She probably saved lives.”

Also injured was a 31-year-old Brooklyn mother who was shot in the left arm after picking up her son from the school and an 11-year-old girl who suffered a grazed right cheek.

Despite an overall decline in crime across the city, and a 19 percent drop in crime in Brownsville within the last decade, the area remains plagued by crime.

City Councilman Charles Barron spoke out against the violence that has gripped the community for years, calling upon state officials for their help with what he says is a “state of emergency.”

Police are still searching for the gunman and a second suspect. The shooting is believed to be gang-related.