Yesterday over 250 mourners turned out for the funeral for Zurana Horton, the Brownsville woman who was killed in a blaze of gang-related gunfire while picking up her children from school earlier this month. Among those in attendance were NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly and the Reverend Al Sharpton, whom the family asked to give the eulogy.
Witnesses say Horton died shielding children with her body, and yesterday Sharpton told the mourners, "This woman is a hero. She died standing up to protect her children. She could have ducked. She could have hid. She could have said it's dangerous. But she saw her children and others in danger, and she did what not enough of you elected and you preachers and you leaders do: she put herself in the way." Sharpton also derided Horton's alleged killer, who indiscriminately opened fire from a rooftop and ran away: “Young men and women claiming buildings as their turf, when they don’t even own the deed," Sharpton said, according to the Post.
Police say 18-year-old Andrew Lopez has confessed to the shooting, and he's been charged with second-degree murder. His half-brother John Carrasquillo, who allegedly told Lopez to go up on the roof and "do what you have to do," was also charged with second-degree murder. And Lopez's brother Kristian was arrested and charged with riminal possession of a weapon (a baseball bat). According to investigators, the three youths are members of a gang that calls itself "8 block," and the shooting had to do with a dispute with a rival gang.
Horton's 12 children are now in the custody of her mother, who has lost three children to gunfire. "I can't make no sense of this. It's all senseless crimes," Anthony James, Horton’s half-brother, said yesterday. And NY1 reports that Roy Coleman, a retired NYPD sergeant who once served in the precinct where the shooting took place, also attended the funeral. "My heart goes out to the family,” Coleman told NY1, “and I really want to see something done about the situation that’s going on in our neighborhoods.”