Family and friends of the 92-year-old who was fatally killed by a stray bullet in her Bronx home on Tuesday are still reeling from the tragedy. Sadie Mitchell's daughter Sharon van Rooij said, "When someone is in their 90s, it's inevitable that they're going to die, but not like this... Not at the hands of some punk. I hope [the killer] will fry. I don't care how old you are -- 18, 19, 30 or 12. I hope you fry."
Mitchell had lived in the Williamsbridge house for since 1954. The Daily News reports, "The northern Bronx neighborhood was once a diverse collection of middle-class blacks, Irish and Italians. But its economic fortunes have slipped dramatically in recent decades, neighbors said." Van Rooij had asked her mother to move, but she refused, "This was her home." A neighbor said, "This neighborhood used to be very good. You could leave your door open and nobody would trouble you. It's changed terribly."
Witnesses have said that a fight broke out, with kids wielding bats—and apparently one fired a gun. Neighbor and friend John Fields, who would drive Mitchell to church and volunteer work and had just taken her to Applebee's with his wife, lamented to the NY Times, "These kids don’t seem like they have any respect for anybody. They don’t seem like they care about life." The Post reports that the police were questioning someone about the shooting this morning.