Friday afternoon, a Brooklyn, NY woman lost her life in the ultimate sacrifice: Protecting children.

After picking up her 11-year-old daughter from school in Central Brooklyn’s tough Brownsville section, 34-year-old Zurana Horton heard shots ring out. Instinctively, Horton, a mother of 13, used her body to shield several children nearby and was fatally shot in the face and chest.

Although police are still investigating, authorities believe the gunman fired from a nearby rooftoop at a group of teens. Two other people–another woman picking up children and an 11-year-old child–were also shot, but both were treated and released.

This is a devastating blow to Horton’s family. Two of her brothers were also murdered–one in 1991 and another just last year–and her children are now left without their mother. Horton’s 16-year-old son said he and his mother  “were like best friends” and her family said Horton was planning on remarrying and moving out of the rough neighborhood soon.

A vigil was held for Horton Sunday night and the community is demanding answers. Residents have started a “start snitching” campaign to implore witnesses to come forward and help police find Horton’s killers.

One resident, Helen Lopez, said she joined the protest because Horton made the ultimate sacrifice.

“We’re trying to unite. She did it for our kids. She defended our kids. She protected them,” Lopez said.

There is a $15,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of Horton’s killers.

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  • 13 children are not motherless. Her mother is going to take of the children. The father of the nine vows to continue to care for his children. Three have special needs. What about the other fatherless four? How will an older woman living in poverty provide for 13 mouths? Will these children receive counseling? Will the murderer be caught, will the hood turn their backs to this and refuse to snitch?

    Will Zurana Horton receive justice?

  • Alexandra

    I’m actually very glad to see the community step up and rally for her justice. Brownsville doesn’t have a great reputation and crime is always reported there. It’s such a shame she lost her life, but she went out protecting other children. Brave.

  • A Mom 2

    I was disappointed that this did not pop up as a headliner on the Internet. I am waiting to hear from the President. This is something to mourn yet celebrate and certainly to come together on behalf of the motherless children. I pray she was saved…I pray for the children…I pray for their future and the future of Brownsville.

  • overit

    hope they catch the culprit.. so senseless.. i pray for this family in their time of need..

  • Miesh

    God Bless this woman, her children & her family…too many people are dying because of these senseless acts of violence. She made the ultimate sacrifice for her children & other children around her…she gave her life & should be recognized for that! These killings really have gotten out of hand as has this notion of not “snitching” but I believe it’s because people are not clear on what “snitching” is. If a person is involved in the shootings & then informs authorities about those involved but excludes information pertaining to their part in it, or tries to down-play it, that is snitching. But, if a person is not directly involved in the shooting, but may know who is responsible & decides to tell the appropriate authorities, that is not snitching. That’s doing the right thing, hopefully providing justice for a mother who can no longer attain it for herself. We’ve got to do better by ourselves & these children who are essentially the future, our successors…you better believe that if the shoe was on the other foot for these murderers they’d want to know who the perpetrator was