Most national crime stories start as local ones, until some aspect of the story makes the national media and public take notice. Baby Lisa Irwin's disappearance in Missouri is grabbing headlines across the country because everyone can feel sympathy for a helpless infant and identify with police suspicions about her parents. So we're wondering why the following story from a predominantly black neighborhood in New York City isn't getting more notice outside of the region, and plucking more heartstrings.
New York's Daily News is reporting the gut-wrenchingly sad story of a pregnant Brooklyn mother who died amid a hail of bullets on Friday afternoon as she tried to protect schoolchildren at Public School 298 in the borough's Brownsville section from a gunman perched atop a nearby roof.
Zurana Horton, the 33-year-old pregnant woman, was hit in the head in front of the Lucky Supermarket at Pitkin Ave. and Watkins St. after she threw herself over a group of children, cops and witnesses said.
"Moments before, she was seen hovering over several children to protect them," NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said.
The second woman was shot in the arm and chest. The 31-year-old was listed in stable condition at Brookdale University Hospital. The 11-year-old girl, identified as Cheanne McKnight, a 6th-grader at P.S. 298, was being treated at Brookdale for a graze wound to the cheek.
A source said Horton, a mother of 13, had just picked up one of her kids from nearby P.S. 298. A teacher ran to her side and whisked at least one of her children into a nearby firehouse for safety.
If this horrifying episode, which has not yet resulted in an arrest, had happened in Manhattan's tony Upper East Side neighborhood instead of one of the poorest communities in New York City, news copters would still be flying overhead, and the networks would be all over it. Zurana Horton is a heroine who followed her instincts. Her bravery should not be ignored simply because of her ZIP code.
In other news: Cain Tops Field Again in Nevada GOP Straw Poll.