A mother in Brockton, Massachusetts, fears violence in her neighborhood will rise as the weather gets warmer, especially after a stray bullet struck her apartment while she and her children were sleeping inside.
It was a close call for Sandra Correia and her two little boys, who are 2 and 4.
The trio were sound asleep when a stray bullet struck their apartment on Main Street and Tremont Street in the early hours of March 26.
When she woke up, she found her apartment was riddled with bullet holes stemming from a single stray bullet that pierced through a bedroom window, a dry wall, and a refrigerator door; the bullet stopped at a juice carton inside.
"It could've been me, it could've been my babies, we could've died," she said in Spanish to NBC10 Boston.
The Cape Verde native moved to Brockton six years ago, but said trouble in her neighborhood is now worse than ever.
"I fear the same thing will happen again, because tonight is another party night. There's always many people there. It's problematic on nights like tonight and tomorrow night," said the 41-year-old, referring to the crowds that loiter on weekends outside at a nearby car wash and bar.
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"When the partying is over, people stay around here smoking, drinking and vandalizing," she added.
As the weather warms up, violence goes up along with it, she said.
Correia said she constantly feels unsafe, especially living alone with her children.
"I need a man here, because it's not easy," she said.
Correia and her landlord reported the incident to Brockton Police.
The police said they continue to investigate, searching for more witnesses, while also adding extra patrols to the area.