ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A three-year-old girl is recovering from a gunshot wound following an unknown incident Tuesday, according to Albany Police PIO Steve Smith. Smith confirms to NEWS10 officers received a juvenile EMS call around midnight Tuesday.
When police, fire and EMS arrived at an apartment in the 300 block of Colonie Street, Smith says the child was already being rushed to Albany Medical Center. Doctors informed police the three-year-old girl had been shot in the torso, and her injuries were considered non life-threatening.
Smith further adds a deeper investigation reveals inconsistent statements about where and how the child was injured. Therefore, he says the police investigation remains ongoing.
NEWS10 will continue following and updating this story as more details become available.
The Suffolk County Economic Opportunity Council manages the area SNUG program dedicated to violence prevention. SNUG Social Worker Tatiana Joseph and Assistant to the CEO of Supportive Services Robert O’Donnell both say they’re sad to see so many children affected by guns.
“The children are becoming almost numb to it, and they’re kind of desensitized,” Joseph says. “It’s gotten to the point where there’s no safe space, because there’s nowhere where it couldn’t happen. The safe space outside the home would usually be school, and that’s not even an option now.”
“I have two children myself and it is scary to see how normalized it is. The kids just brush guns off like they’re nothing, like it’s crossing the street,” says O’Donnell.
Both work every day to teach gun safety, but also to advocate for an attitude change around resorting to guns during conflict.
“You can go into a store and buy a gun and know you have a safe place, but who’s making sure you have a safe space for it and who’s questioning that?” asks Joseph.
“A lot of people feel like if I don’t have the gun on me and someone else does, what am I supposed to do? They all think they have to have a gun on them. It’s also a matter of feeling respected. They also feel like if you fear them, you respect them,” she goes on to say.
The first step, they say, is to start approaching the topics at an early age so as to break the cycle by the time they become adults.
“We’ve got to teach kids that it’s okay to talk about when they’re angry or to say to someone hey, I don’t like the way you just talked to me or approached me, and we’ve got to get that conversation started as soon as possible,” says O’Donnell.