By Trevor Kapp, Jeff Mays and Patrick Hedlund
HARLEM — A man shot and killed his sleeping 13-year-old half-sister and critically wounded his mother during an early morning shooting Tuesday at a Harlem housing complex, police said.
The 28-year-old man suspected of the attack, identified in reports as Steven Murray, was then shot and injured after a whirlwind chase with police at the scene, NYPD officials said, where he reportedly survived a hail of 84 bullets.
The mother and daughter were discovered inside an apartment at the Polo Grounds Houses at 2971 Frederick Douglass Blvd., after authorities responded to the scene about 3:32 a.m., police and fire officials said.
The 13-year-old girl, identified by friends as Annie Fryar, was shot in the head and died at the scene, police said. The mother, 44, identified in reports as Christine Fryar, was struck multiple times and taken to Harlem Hospital with life-threatening injuries, police added.
Police found the victims inside a 12th-floor apartment at the complex at 155th Street and Eighth Avenue, cops said.
"I distinctly heard a lady say, 'You shot my daughter,'" said a 40-year-old woman, who lives on the 13th floor directly above where the incident happened. "I heard her crying."
After Christine Fryar gave a description of the suspect to police, two officers patrolling the area saw the man running and pursued him when gunfire was exchanged, police said.
Witnesses described seeing a wild gunfight and hearing police yell at the suspect to drop his weapon.
"The cop was saying, 'Put the gun down.' He said it a couple of times," explained Annette Cordero, 25, who lives in the housing complex and said she saw a police officer taking cover behind a vehicle's driver's side door.
"I heard a lot of shots. Probably 10 to 15. I heard pop-pop-pop. It kept on and kept on."
The gun battle appeared to occur on Harlem River Drive next to the complex.
Another witness, who watched the shootout unfold, said she saw both officers firing their guns.
"The cops were yelling, 'Put your hands up, put your f---ing hands up,'" said Ramona Miller, who also lives in the complex.
"The cop was saying, 'He’s got a gun.' It was the Wild West."
Murray appears to have a rap sheet that includes assault and robbery, according to reports. Police told the New York Post that Murray, who had recently moved from North Carolina into his mom's home, wasn’t working or helping out in the small apartment where he shared the living room with Annie. On top of that, he was apparently becoming disruptive, and Fryar wanted him out.
Donnette Skinner, 13, a neighbor and friend of Annie's from school at nearby P.S. 46, said the two girls were hanging out after school on Monday, but Annie said she had to leave around 5 p.m. because her brother was drunk.
"She said, 'Let me go upstairs before things get out of hand,'" Donnette recounted. "They're going to start arguing because my brother's drunk."
Donnette added, while sobbing, "You would have to have so much hatred to shoot your sister and your mother."
The sixth grader recalled her friend: "She was kind. She was helpful. She always did her work. She always made us laugh."
Another classmate described the teen as a caring and dedicated student who excelled at math.
"She was always there when people was upset," said Aaliyah Anderson, 13, who called Annie her best friend. "She was the type of person to be there by your side."
A resident of the building where the shooting occurred said she saw a woman she believed to be the mother being carried on a stretcher.
"She wasn’t saying anything, not a word," said the witness, Karen Williams, 55. "There was a lot of blood on the left side of her face."
The officers, who were uninjured, struck the suspect in the legs and torso, police said. The suspect was taken to Harlem Hospital Center and is listed in serious condition.
Cops recovered a .22-caliber handgun at the scene.
The officers were taken to St. Luke's Hospital for trauma, officials added.
Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott visited PS 46 Tuesday morning to show his support, and grief counselors were also on hand to talk with students and will remain at the school for the "coming days."
"I am deeply saddened by a tragedy that has taken one of our students in the prime of her life," Walcott said. "Our prayers go out to her mother for a swift recovery, and to her family during this difficult time."