Crime Waves: Stray Casualty

Vada Vasquez, a 15-year-old from the Bronx, is hospitalized and “fighting for her life” after emergency brain surgery yesterday–she caught a stray bullet from a street dispute on her way home from school. The Daily News takes to the internet to learn more about the victim:

Vada described herself on her MySpace page as a fan of horror flicks and heavy metal music, and said she had a talent for drawing.

She posted touching pictures where she posed with her mother, and gushed in a recent post about getting a new laptop for her birthday last month.

She was thrilled at seeing “Phantom of the Opera,” and used her Facebook page to contact Broadway actor John Cudia last month. “Your performance blew me away,” she wrote.

Cudia thanked her for seeing the show, and added, “Be well.”

The Post uses Twitter:

The sister of the girl with whom Vada was chatting when she was shot posted messages on Twitter.

“My lil sister’s friend just got shot in the head on her way home from school, and the boy it was intended for got 1 in the shoulder,” one read.

“I wonder how these shooters sleep at night when they realize the extent of shooting someone and what pain it can cause families.”

The Times avoids the internet, and declines to name the victim:

Leticia Pineiro, the principal at Bronx Latin, said of the 15-year-old, “She’s a good kid.”

The Daily News points out in a separate article that Vasquez was “just the latest of many victims” and rounds up accounts of bystander shootings and stray bullet deaths.

New York City police officers fired their weapons 105 times last year, the lowest figure since records begin in 1971. Thirty of the occasions “involved fending off animals,” according to the Post.

In his column on Shabia Johnakin’s probation for gun possession, Michael Daly repeatedly invokes Lil Wayne as an example of justice fairly served.

And the Daily News‘ “Justice Story” column rehashes In Cold Blood, but probably presents no threat to Truman Capote. Crime Waves: Stray Casualty