Teen shot in head at NYC park recovering after surgery, uncle says

The 16-year-old girl hit in the head by a stray bullet while she sat in a Brooklyn park showed encouraging signs Saturday she’s “going to be OK,” according to her uncle, who said it’s heartbreaking that “kids can’t be kids anymore” in New York City.

Kyla Sobers, a junior at the Cobble Hill School of American Studies who wants to be a lawyer, was recovering at New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital Saturday after successful surgery to remove the bullet fragments that hit her Friday at around 3 p.m. in Nicholas Naquan Heyward Jr. Park near the Gowanus Houses in Boerum Hill.

Sobers said his niece is lucky to survive the shooting.
Sobers said his niece is lucky to survive the shooting.
Michael Dalton

“That’s the only bright side to come out of this. She is going to be OK,” uncle Dwayne Sobers, 33, told The Post. “I feel relieved she is going to be OK. I wouldn’t wish this on anybody, especially not a child. God was protecting her.”

He continued: “At the end of the day, she is lucky. She is not recovering because she is strong or superwoman. No, she got lucky.”

He said Kyla did not appear to have any complications and she was already moving her hands and legs.

Kyla liked to hang out with her friends at the park after school before returning home to Flatbush and was on a swing when the bullet struck, her uncle said.

“It’s a park. It’s children playing. Even if you live that kind of life, have some morals. There are children playing,” the uncle  said. 

Police were investigating whether the shooting was gang related and were looking for video from the scene.

Tony Karon, 60, a journalist who has lived near the scene of Friday’s shooting for 18 years, said he heard the gunshots and later learned his car was hit. 

The two back windows of his Subaru SUV were blown out and the back seat and the floor of the vehicle were covered in shards. 

NYPD at the scene of the shooting near the Gowanus Houses on October 1, 2021.
NYPD at the scene of the shooting near the Gowanus Houses on Oct. 1, 2021.
Kevin C. Downs

He said he was more concerned about the victim than his car, and called the rise in violence “terrible.” 

“I think it’s a sign that the city is not working for the people, somehow,” Karon said. “There is something wrong. This is not like a pathology of one kid here, one kid there. This is like a pattern so something is wrong.”

Sources said the gunman and his pals fled on Citi Bikes.

Sobers is a junior at the Cobble Hill School of American Studies.
Sobers is a junior at the Cobble Hill School of American Studies.
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“Can’t get much worse than a girl playing in a schoolyard in broad daylight getting shot,” one Brooklyn cop told The Post.

At least 21  young people between the ages of 10 and 17 have been killed in street violence this year.

Additional reporting by Joe Marino

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