New York, NY (WCBS) — A Queens mother of three was shot and killed by a stray bullet that crashed through her bedroom window early Wednesday morning.
Police said Bertha Arriaga’s 14-year-old son was the one who discovered her dead.
The bullet entered a third-floor window just before 1 a.m. on 34th Avenue and 92nd Street in Jackson Heights.
Police said it struck the 43-year-old victim in the neck, killing her.
“She was sleeping, and she heard some noise on the street, and she got up from bed, she looked at the window, and that’s when she got hit,” Arriaga’s brother-in-law, Javier, told CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge. “My brother called me last night around 2 in the morning, and he told me that Bertha — that was his wife’s name — he told me that Bertha was laying on the floor with a lot of blood in her mouth.”
The couple’s three children were home, and their 14-year-old son thought Arriaga was choking. His father ran into the room and couldn’t comprehend what was happening until he saw the bullet hole.
“We’re trying to figure out why — why at that time, why suddenly, why at that time would she looked at the window?” said Javier Arriaga. “I don’t know who we should blame.”
Police released surveillance video of two persons of interest, caught on camera trying to steal a bike outside the victim’s apartment building just minutes before she was shot, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported.
Investigators don’t know if the individuals were responsible for the shooting or if they were the intended targets. Police received a 911 call about shots fired around the same time the son called. It’s unclear if the bullet was fired from the street or a nearby rooftop.
Neighbors and family said they are struggling to make sense of it all
“It make you feel scared because I live here in the next building,” resident Mauriceo Herrera said.
“Inside the house is supposed to be secure, but now nothing is secure,” resident Carlos Enriquez added.
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