Boy hit by stray bullet in Bronx helps get shooter convicted
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Boy hit by stray bullet in Bronx helps get shooter convicted

A boy wounded by a stray bullet in a Bronx gunfight made sure his shooter felt the sting of justice.

Luisito Oyola Jr., who was just 3 when he was shot in the arm three years ago, helped secure gunman Alexis Tatis’ conviction by showing the jury his scars, an official said Wednesday.

Tatis, 29, had been aiming for another man when he whipped out his semi-automatic pistol in Vidalia Park near E. 180th St. and Daly Ave. on Aug. 30, 2013, and fired four times, prosecutors charged in the two-week Bronx Supreme Court trial.

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One bullet hit his intended target in the leg, but another ricocheted off a tree and struck little Luisito, who had been playing in the park with relatives.

The boy, now 6, sat at the prosecutor’s table and pointed out to the jury where he had been struck, said a spokeswoman for the Bronx District Attorney’s office.

Tatis now faces up to 45 years in prison on his conviction on two counts of attempted assault in the first degree and one count of criminal weapons possession.

He dodged a higher charge of attempted murder after his intended victim refused to testify, a law enforcement source said.

“He wounded a little boy who was just enjoying a walk with his sister and grandmother,” Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said in a statement Wednesday. “Luis ‘Luisito’ Oyola Jr. bravely told his story in court, and now the gunman could face many years in prison for his callous disregard for life.”

Local lawmakers had rallied around Luisito’s shooting, proposing a bill that would have created a new felony for firing a gun within 500 feet of a school, park or playground — and another felony for shooting a child under 10 years old.

The bill passed the state Senate but stalled in the Assembly.

On Wednesday, its co-sponsor urged Judge John Carter to slam Tatis with the full 45-year prison term the law allows.

“This man almost killed a child. To me, he deserves the absolute maximum,” said Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda (D-Parkchester), who sponsored the bill with state Sen. Jeff Klein (D-Throgs Neck).

Sepulveda has a 5-year-old son, and lives two blocks from the park where little Luisito was shot.

“You have to send a strong message that when you’re around children, around playgrounds, you can’t discharge a weapon,” the lawmaker said.

Source:   nydailynews
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