Little Girl Shot by Cyclist Returns Home for Father's Day
KINGSBRIDGE — A special little girl who survived gunfire that struck her as she played outside her building Friday had a wonderful Father's Day gift for her dad: returning home from the hospital.
Amanda Chauan, 9, was accompanied all night long by her father, Gustavo Chauan, who stayed her bedside at Jacobi Hospital, relatives said. She was shot in the stomach while playing outside with her little brother at 9:20 p.m. Friday.
Police said the shooter was riding a BMX-style bicycle on Bailey Avenue near West 233rd Street when he shot into a crowd. An investigation is ongoing.
Though she was in the intensive care unit, she did not require an operation, Magaly Cintron, Amanda's mother, said, and she was happy to head home on Sunday.
Amanda returned to her building, 3340 Bailey Ave., at 1:30 p.m. accompanied by Cintron, who carried a giant balloon bouquet but would not stop to talk.
Her live-in grandfather, Humberto Lopez, said it was the best Father's Day gift he'd ever had.
"When I saw her I was in shock but it was a happy shock," Lopez told DNAinfo.com. "She gave me a kiss and a hug. It was a beautiful present. The best present anyone could have. You can't ask for nothing else."
Girlfriends arrived in the afternoon, carrying a giant cake for Amanda, and more balloons. Hours later, Amanda emerged surrounded by her friends and some family members, to attend a ballgame at a park across the street.
The family refused to share any photographs of Amanda on Sunday, and did not allow her to speak to press outside her home.
Earlier in the day Cintron shared her thoughts on what would make the holiday celebrating amazing dads even better: If the NYPD caught the shooter.
"I want them to catch him," Cintron said. "She was an innocent."
Cintron said the bullet, which appeared to have merely grazed Amanda as she played outside with her 7-year-old brother Gustavo on Friday night, left a superficial mark, which she called "a second belly button."
The gunshots could be heard from up on the 18th floor, where the girl's family lives, said Cintron, who ran all the way downstairs when she heard the shooting on Friday.
Police released a photo of a man sought for questioning, named Billy James, Jr., 17. The city is offering a combined $22,000 reward for the arrest, indictment and conviction of the perpetrator.
Amanda's shooting follows a rash of gunfire striking young girls, including a June 1 attack that struck Tayloni Mazyck, 11, in Brooklyn, and 14-year-old D'aja Robinson, who was shot dead on a Queens bus coming home from a party May 18.
Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS or to visit Crime Stoppers at nypdcrimestoppers.com or to text tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.