MARINE PARK, Brooklyn (WABC) — A woman is clinging to life after being shot in the head and investigators now believe this was a suicide attempt.
The 36-year-old mother was found sitting on a bench in a park near Marine Park Junior High School 278 Tuesday around 4:00 p.m.
Students and teachers were put on lockdown as investigators combed the area for evidence.
The woman was taken to Brookdale Hospital, where she’s listed in critical condition.
Police are still searching for the weapon used which was not found at the scene, they’re looking into whether someone may have taken it.
Witnesses say the woman was arguing with a man, believed to be the father of their child, just before the shot rang out.
That man was spotted on surveillance cameras entering the park without the child and then leaving the park with a 1-year-old child. He then drove away from the scene.
He was stopped by police nearby and taken to a nearby precinct to be interviewed.
He is not expected to be charged in connection with the shooting.
The woman sent a note to police before the shooting. Investigators are looking into whether it was intended to be a suicide note.
The child was unharmed during the incident.
However, inside the school, dozens of frightened students like 12-year-old Kamiyah Marrero had to stay in the auditorium.
“It was scary because it’s like shocking that they would do that in front of my school,” Marrero said.
The seventh grader, who heard the gunshot, was brought to tears while expressing to her mom that she didn’t feel safe.
“It’s scary as a mom, you know you send your kids to school and you know, you don’t expect nothing like this to happen,” mother Iheishah Civil said.
A crowd of parents grew outside during what was supposed to be a smooth first day of the afterschool program at J.H.S. 278 Marine Park.
Jetta Bonds received an automated call from the school, saying that there was a shooting and students were safe inside.
“You see the tape everywhere. I’m like what happened I’m texting my son and he didn’t respond, I got nervous,” Bonds said.
The Department of Education released a statement in response to the incident.
“The safety of our students is our absolute top priority. Following an off-campus non-school related incident in the community, this school went into a shelter-in, which has now been lifted,” the statement said.
As parents anxiously waited, detectives combed the scene.
Students were eventually released to relieved parents, in the dark, several hours after their scheduled pick-up time.
Eyewitness News reporter Chantee Lans ran into Marrero, who was reunited with her mother.
“I feel very happy because I’m out this building, my building right there and because I’m just happy I’m going home,” she said.
If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide or worried about a friend or loved one, help is available. Call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text TALK to 741-741 or visit 988lifeline.org/ for free confidential emotional support 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Even if it feels like it, you are not alone.
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