BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — The mother of Chynna Battle, the young woman slain in a Bed-Stuy double homicide Wednesday night, cried out for justice Thursday at a candlelight vigil for her slain daughter.
Surrounded by about 100 mourners, Mozelle Brown recalled her 21-year-old daughter as a strong-willed, feisty young woman who lived for her 3-year-old daughter, and called for an end to the the kinds of violent acts that took Battle’s life.
“I want whoever did this to know that’s my child, she was a good girl and she died senselessly,” Brown said. “I want them to get whoever did this to my child, and if I can point them in the right direction I will.”
Lynette Battle, the murdered woman’s cousin, joined Brown in angrily denouncing the young woman’s killers Thursday.
“The men that did this, and I wouldn’t even call them men, they need to be under the jail,” Battle said.
Battle and another young mom, Shaqwanda “Q” Staley, 29, were shot around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday night as they hung out with a group of people in the courtyard behind 760 Gates Ave., part of the Stuyvesant Gardens housing complex between Stuyvesant and Lewis avenues, according to police.
According to Brown, her daughter was left slumped on a bench after being shot in the head.
Battle and Staley, who was shot in the back, were taken to area hospitals but doctors were unable to save them, officials said.
Investigators do not believe either woman was the intended target of the attack, which was carried out by one shooter accompanied by another unidentified man, according to a police spokesman. There had been no arrests as of Friday afternoon, police said.
Battle, who grew up in the neighborhood and lived around the corner from the crime scene in another Stuyvesant Gardens building, leaves behind a 3-year-old daughter, Amelia, and Staley leaves behind a 9-year-old girl, friends said.
Amelia, who was staying with her father Thursday, did not yet know her mom had died, according to Amelia’s dad, Elijah St. Omer.
“I’m gonna try to make my whole family help me tell her,” he said. “I wanna try and keep her."
At the vigil Thursday evening, friends and family streamed into the courtyard behind Battle’s apartment building, carrying candles and hugging one another as rain began to fall. A pastor led the group in prayer before family members spoke about Battle’s love for Amelia and her outspoken personality.
“Chynna loved everyone, even if she had her moments where she spazzed out at you” said her uncle Robert Spearman. “I love her, and I’m gonna miss her deeply, but I know she’s in a better place and God is gonna take care of her and her family.”
About a mile away, at the corner of Hancock Street and Howard Avenue where Staley grew up, friends had set up a memorial to her Thursday afternoon, where mourners left candles and wrote notes to their fallen friend.
Anthony Rosa, who put up the memorial when he found out about Staley’s death, said his friend remained a fixture in the neighborhood even after moving away, and was loved by all.
“We just want people to remember her,” Rosa said. “Everybody loved her, and she didn’t deserve this at all.”