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More teens in the line of fire as Big Apple shootings spike

For Yanely Henriquez, Christmas this year was far from a celebration.

The Bronx mom spent the holiday at the cemetery visiting her late daughter — and she’ll repeat the somber pilgrimage next month when the slain straight-A student would have turned 17.

“My family is broken,” said Henriquez, whose daughter Angellyh Yambo was shot dead earlier this year.

“We are not the same since this happened,” she told The Post this week. “I should be celebrating my daughter’s birthday on Jan. 24th, and now I have to go to a grave.”

Henriquez’s daughter — killed by a stray bullet near her South Bronx high school on April 8 — was one of more than a dozen kids gunned down in the Big Apple this year.

New York City children like Angelly are increasingly finding themselves in the line of fire as a rash of gun violence continues to rattle the five boroughs — with one in 10 shooting victims this year being under the age of 18.

Yanely Henriquez mourns her daughter, 16-year-old Angellyh Yambo.
Yanely Henriquez’s 16-year-old daughter Angellyh Yambo was killed by a stray bullet near her South Bronx on April 8, one of 16 youngsters killed by gun violence in 2022.
J.C. Rice for NY Post

And the spate of gun crime tearing families apart is only getting worse, a review of statistics by The Post has found.

Nearly 150 youngsters have been shot so far this year, police data shows, compared to 138 for all of 2021.

The stats show that despite a dip in shooting victims overall — 1,524 through Dec. 18 compared to 1,825 for all of last year — the number of children struck by bullets has spiked to 10% from 7% in 2021.

“I’m outraged,” said Tasha Rattray, whose 17-year-old daughter, Keyaira Rattray-Brothers, was shot and killed on Dec. 6.

“We are talking about our children, our future. If they kill our future, our children, how can we all continue to live? There is no way. That’s our bloodline, our legacies.”

Tasha Rattray mourns her daughter, Keyaira Rattray-Brothers.
Tasha Rattray’s daughter, 17-year-old Keyaira Rattray-Brothers, was shot and killed inside Kingsborough Houses in Brooklyn on Dec. 6.
Stefan Jeremiah for NY Post

Tamima Samira, who was just 15 when she was wounded by a stray bullet while studying inside her Queens home in June, called the rash of teen shooting victims “appalling.”

“It raises the question, how many more innocent children and just people in general need to be victims of gun violence for there to be major system change regarding the regulation of firearms?” she said in an email to The Post on Thursday.

“You have to think about the fact that those were 16 innocent people with unique lives and interests and personalities that had their opportunities snatched from them by someone’s simple action of pulling a trigger,” she said.

Tamima Samira.
Tamima Samira was just 15 when she was shot in the leg by a stray bullet on June 7 while studying for an exam inside her Queens home.

“And that’s just 16 children from this year alone. What about the others? The people who died last year?” she added. “It’s heartbreaking that it would happen to just one person, but this is an occurrence that continues to happen around us.”

Among the kids gunned down this year was Prince Shabazz, 14, who was walking with his 15-year-old brother in The Bronx on Nov. 30 when the two were ambushed by a pair of gunmen in what police believe was a shooting sparked by a drill rap beef.

The younger boy was left mortally wounded in a pool of blood on the sidewalk. His brother was not injured.

Prince Shabazz, 14.
Prince Shabazz, 14, was walking with his brother in the Bronx on Nov. 30 when they were ambushed by two gunmen. His 15-year-old brother survived. He did not.

About three weeks earlier, Raelynn Cameron, 17, was shot and killed at a Brooklyn party after she allegedly spurned a 22-year-old man’s advances. Accused killer Javone Duncan is now being held without bail on murder charges in the Oct. 11 shooting.

Shayma Roman, a promising 17-year-old hoopster, died in her older sister’s arms after getting shot in Crown Heights on Sept. 18. Police said she was an innocent bystander struck by stray bullets fired by a pair of gunmen.

On May 16, a pair of moped-riding teenagers opened fire on a 13-year-old boy in The Bronx — and instead struck and killed Kyhara Tay, who was just 11 years old.

Prosecutors later charged Omar Bojang, 18, and Matthew Godwin, 15, in the slaying.

Shayma Roman, 17.
Shayman Roman, 17, died in her sister’s arms after being shot in Crown Heights on Sept. 18. Police said the promising hoopster was an innocent bystander.
Facebook/Shayma Roman

In the case of Keyaira Rattray-Brothers — who was shot dead inside a Brooklyn housing project earlier this month — police arrested career criminal Sundance Oliver, 28, who was the subject of a widespread manhunt before his arrest.

The teen’s murder was part of an alleged killing spree by Oliver that also left a 21-year man dead and a 96-year-old man wounded.

“I can’t sleep,” her distraught mom Tasha Rattray told The Post this week. “I feel like it’s crazy. If feels like evil, it’s loose. I’s very out of control. It makes me scared for the [four] children that I have left.”

The grieving woman called on city officials to act.

“They should do any and everything by any means necessary to keep these guns off the streets, to stop these illegal sales of guns,” she said. “I can’t even put it into words. You see it all the time on the news — someone’s child was shot, someone’s child was murdered.”

Nadine Sobers, whose teen daughter Kayla was seriously injured last year when she was struck by a stray bullet, said it was “disheartening” to see the violence affecting youngsters continue.

Kayla Sobers, 16.,,
Teen Kayla Sobers “is still healing” after she was shot in the head by a stray bullet ata Brooklyn playground in September 2021, her mom, Nadine, told The Post.
Kyle Sobers/Facebook

“I know what those parents are going through because having your own child taken from you or almost taken from you could leave you with a heavy, heavy, heavy heart,” Sobers told The Post.

Her daughter — who was just 16 when she was hit in the head on a Brooklyn playground on Sept. 30, 2021 — “is still healing,” she said.

And Kayla’s trauma is made worse by the knowledge her shooter remains on the loose and could hurt — or kill — another child.

“The possibility that it can happen again in my family, it’s kind of gut-wrenching,” the mom said. “How does the city help? How do they annihilate the problem?

Police said the shootings — which victimized 149 youngsters so far in 2022 — are part of a brutal, years-long trend in the city.

“The issue law enforcement is seeing is the youth are being both the victim and the criminal more times than not when it comes to gun violence,” one veteran cop told The Post.

“In New York State the lack of leadership in Albany to changing the ‘Raise the Age’ statute along with not prosecuting crimes and not holding perpetrators accountable is leading to the demise of our youth,” the officer said.

Kyhara Tay, 11.
Kyhara Tay was just 11 when a pair of moped-riding gunmen opened fire and fatally wounded her in the Bronx on May 16. The intended target was a 13-year-old boy.

The state statute forced law enforcement officials to move hundreds of accused 16- and 17-year-old violence suspects out of Rikers Island and into a Bronx juvenile facility.

The state’s lenient 2019 criminal justice reforms, which prohibit judges from setting bail in most cases have put too many baby-faced criminals back on the streets, critics say.

State law also calls for most underaged defendants to be prosecuted with kid gloves in juvenile or Family Court rather than in adult court.

Raelynn Cameron, 17.
Raelynn Cameron, 17, was shot and killed at a Brooklyn party on Oct. 11 after she spurned the gunman’s sexual advances, police and her family said.

Some of the grieving parents maintained the city isn’t doing enough to stop the violence.

“These people say what they are going to do but it’s all talk — they do nothing,” Henriquez said. “Purchasing a gun is like you go to buy a pair of sneakers.

“Yes, I am angry and I wish I could do something but, unfortunately, I can’t,” she said.

It “hurts” to see her daughter’s accused killer — Jeremiah Ryan, 17, who was arrested in April — “walk in court like he didn’t do anything wrong,” Henriquez added.

“As a mother that breaks my heart,” she said. “All I can do is pray for this trial to come.”

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