Police have identified the bike-riding suspect who allegedly shot a 9-year-old girl in the Bronx on Friday night. Cops believe that 17-year-old Billy James Jr. shot 9-year-old Amanda Chauan around 9:30 p.m. at Bailey Avenue and West 234th Street in Kingsbridge. Amanda, who was shot in the stomach, was out playing with her 5-year-old brother Gustavo at the time: “He was right there next to her,” Amanda’s grandmother, Wanda Forte, told the News. “I don’t know how he didn’t get hit, too. They’re just little kids. This shouldn’t happen.”
Witness Sam Fernandez said he saw the shooter slowly pedal past him aboard a BMX-style bike: “He rode up...like he was trying to see who was out there, and then he did a loop out front,” said Fernandez. “He started shooting from the middle of the street.” Other witnesses described the chaotic scene as six shots were fired: “Everyone was running around," said neighbor Joanny Jiminez. "The little girl, she was walking around panicking. She was screaming, ‘I can’t deal with this right now!’”
Amanda was taken to Jacobi Medical Center, where she is in stable condition: “Last night was my worst day ever,” her father, Gustavo, told the News. “I’m just glad to tell you she’s doing good. Thank God. She’s conscious.” Police add that they don't believe she was the intended target of the shooter.
A $22,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case. Anyone with information on the incident should contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit their website.