Son of man, 80, hit by stray bullet in Bronx says gun violence is ‘out of our control’
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The son of an 80-year-old military veteran who was struck by a stray bullet in the Bronx said the violence in their neighborhood feels “out of our control” — as the elderly man recovers from his wounds.
Andres Rodriguez, who has Alzheimer’s disease, was out for an afternoon stroll to the store with his wife and niece when the slug hit him in the buttocks in East Morrisania around 4:45 p.m., his son, Miguel Rodriguez, told The Post on Tuesday.
“It was the most harmless thing they could do,” Miguel Rodriguez said.
Video released by cops on Tuesday shows the octogenarian crossing the street at East 174th Street and Vyse Avenue, then suddenly grabbing his behind and stumbling as shots ring out.
“He grabbed his chest,” his son said, explaining that his dad didn’t even realize what had happened at first due to his Alzheimer’s. “He started falling back and then hit the floor.”
Miguel Rodriguez added, “He lost a lot of blood.”
The family’s neighborhood has seen more than double the number of shootings so far this year, with NYPD statistics showing 15 incidents of gunplay with 18 victims compared to six and seven, respectively, last year.
But the son, who learned of the shooting through his mother, said his family has no plans to change the way they go about their daily lives.
“This area is hot. It’s always been. It feels out of our control,” said Miguel Rodriguez. “This is just where we live … Clearly, more police presence would help.”
Andres Rodriguez was rushed to St. Barnabas Hospital, where he is still being monitored as the slug remains lodged inside his buttocks, according to his son.
While the senseless shooting made the family nervous, Miguel Rodriguez was relieved his dad escaped with non-life-threatening injuries.
“I definitely feel blessed it wasn’t worse,” he said. “He’s doing well and is in good spirits so that’s all that matters.”
The unknown gunman, who was aiming at someone else and missed, was still in the wind Tuesday.
Additional reporting by Craig McCarthy
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