New York City mother killed by stray bullet that entered apartment window
A New York City mother died Wednesday after being struck by a stray bullet that entered her apartment window – leaving her to be found by her 14-year-old son, police say.
The incident surrounding the death of Bertha Arriaga in the Queens borough is now under investigation and no suspects so far have been publicly identified.
“This is what senseless gun violence does — it destroys families,” New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said in a tweet.
The 43-year-old mother’s son told police he heard a commotion and loud noises outside the apartment building around 1 a.m. this morning before discovering his mother was shot, according to Fox5 NY.
“He found her breathing, in the blood, on the floor,” Javier Aguilar — whom the New York Post identified as his uncle – said in an interview with the newspaper. “He ran to daddy and say, ‘Mommy is on the floor!’ Daddy tried to do CPR and she was breathing, eyes open, a lot of blood on her head.”
After first responders showed up, Arriaga was pronounced dead at the scene and police told Fox5 NY they had received reports of shots being fired in the area around the time she was hit.
“I couldn’t hear what they said, but they yelled and pushed each other,” a neighbor told the New York Post, describing how they heard a few men arguing in the street before the gunfire erupted.
The newspaper reports that Arriaga’s husband, Jorge Aguilar, was home at the time of the shooting but wasn’t inside the same third-floor room as his wife.
“She was the best wife, the best mom,” the New York Post quoted him as saying.
Arriaga is reported to leave behind three children, ages 14, 10 and 6.