Caught in a hail of gunshots and cries for help, Nikita Pratt started to think she had escaped Sunday’s mass shooting unscathed until she looked down and noticed a hole in her left foot.
Pratt, 17, who graduated from high school two weeks ago, was one of 14 people shot during a birthday party in Montell Heights.
She said her 10-year-old sister, Tyesha Johnson, was shot twice in the legs and her father was also shot.
While Pratt was discharged from hospital on Sunday, her sister was not.
Police said a man was walking toward the party, held just across the street from a community park, shortly after midnight, when he was confronted by two men who began shooting at him, resulting in other people being shot.
The Nassau Guardian visited Pratt at her family home in Montell Heights yesterday. She was on crutches and her left leg was in a cast.
Pratt, who was shot in her foot and leg, said she was sitting down watching the adults party when the gunfire started.
“When I was sitting down, I heard these ‘boom’ noises,” she said.
“I thought it was firecrackers and I saw everybody run so I chose to run too, and when I look, it was gunshots.
“My auntie fall in the front of me, and then I fall down.
“…I realized I had a hole in my foot and I was shocked that I got shot.
“My auntie was screaming that somebody should help her. She said she can’t feel her legs.
“On the side of me was this young lady. Her eyes just was open, and I assumed that she was dead.
“She wasn’t blinking and the blood was coming from her head.
“When I look around I saw my sister by the sidewalk. She was screaming for my daddy them to come help her. She was bleeding.
“Then when I look ‘round again, by the lady who was bleeding from her head, I saw this other man who got shot. He was on the side of her and he looked stunned too. He wasn’t blinking or anything.”
Police said the victims were taken to hospital by private cars. Pratt said doctors were unable to remove the bullet that is now lodged in her calf.
Pratt said she hasn’t felt safe since the shooting.
“I think I just want to start the rest of my life because I’m thankful for living,” she said.
She added, “I just want to stay home, because, I mean…I just felt as though they just came and [would have] killed anybody. My sister, she’s the youngest, she’s only 10 and she was shot.”
Pratt’s grandmother, Ermilia Toussaint, said her son, Pratt’s father, was also shot in his leg.
Toussaint, who lives in Garden Hills, said yesterday that when she got the call on Sunday morning about the shooting, she had to catch a ride to Montell Heights.
“When they called me I was praying in my room,” Toussaint said.
She added, “Without God, I don’t think I could make it this morning.
“There were three people shot in my house in one night. I felt so bad that night. I was going crazy.
“I am a woman I can’t walk [well], but I had to walk to find a ride to go to Montell Heights. When I reached there I met everybody and saw my children. I fell on the floor.
“Thank God they told me they shot them in the leg. I have my little girl, 10-years-old, two legs broken…people don’t have a heart. To shoot 14 people in one night, suppose one of them died?”
She added, “You all can’t be killing little people like that, young people like that.”
Pratt said she could have never imagined the birthday party would have taken such a horrible turn. In the moment, she said she could only think, “I can’t believe I got shot.”
The Nassau Guardian understands that 10 females and four males were shot. The victims’ ages range between 10 and 32. Of that number, four are minors.
The influx of patients resulted in the cancelation of elective surgery and admissions at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH).
Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands said yesterday that three people who were shot and were in critical condition had been stabilized.
Pratt’s sister and father were also shot