N.Y.C. Woman Killed After Demanding Neighbors Stop Shooting Fireworks Near Her Kids

A Brooklyn woman who’d asked people to stop lighting illegal fireworks on the Fourth of July to protect children playing in the courtyard of an apartment complex was shot and killed days later – allegedly because of her request, her family says, according to reports.

On July 4, Shatavia Walls, 33, confronted an unidentified group of people who were lighting fireworks in the courtyard of the NYCHA Pink Houses of East New York because she was worried about the safety of children playing nearby, her mother, Helen Testagros, told The New York Daily News and The New York Post.

You’ll get the latest updates on this topic in your browser notifications.

“The kids were playing right there in the park,” Testagros told The News. “And they were shooting [fireworks] near the kids. And the little girl was hysterical. That’s why she asked them to stop.”

Walls was visiting her mother and family at the complex on July 4, The Post reports.

On July 4, Walls’ demand for people to stop lighting the fireworks led to a “scuffle,” then a single shot was allegedly fired at her, but missed, Testagros told The Post. 

The Post did not disclose the name of the alleged shooter because he hasn’t been arrested or charged.

Police sources told The Post that on July 7, Walls and a friend again asked a group of people shooting off fireworks to stop.

Then, Testagros told The Post, someone in the group went to get the man who argued with Walls on July 4, who allegedly fired a round at her.

“He was chasing her, hopping over the gates, shooting,” Testagros alleged to The Post.

Once Walls was hit, the alleged gunman “walked over” to her, Testagros told The Post. “She was on the ground shot. And he kept shooting until the gun went ‘click, click, click.’”

Walls was shot 8 times, Fox 6 News reports.

A spokeswoman for the NYPD tells PEOPLE that on July 7 at approximately 8:30 p.m., “police responded to a 911 call of a person shot in front of 2676 Linden Boulevard in the confines of the 75 Precinct. Upon arrival, police discovered two individuals shot.”

The first victim, which the NYPD identified as Walls, “was shot in the chest and taken to Brookdale Hospital in critical condition.”

The second victim, whom police identified as a 30-year-old male, was shot in the arm and taken to Brookdale Hospital in stable condition.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE’s free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

 “I had seen her on the floor and she was laying there, and she said to me, ‘Ma I don’t think I’m going to make it,”’ Testagros told The News. “She was telling me who shot her, saying it was the same guy from the other day.”

Now family and friends are mourning her loss.

“She was a fun girl,” Walls’ mother told The News. “She loved the kids, you’d see her out there playing with them in the water fights. That’s how she was.”

“We did everything together,” her best friend, Erica Lee, 33, tells The News. “It’s like a feeling that you can never get over. It’s unbearable. These are people you think you could never lose.”