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Bullet holes found through walls of Central Street apartment in Manchester after early morning shooting

New Hampshire Union Leader

May 17. 2018 8:52PM
A bullet hole can be seen in the wall behind Beatrice Habyalimana as she stands in her son's bedroom. (Mark Hayward/Union Leader)

Bullet holes riddle a window of a Central Street apartment Thursday morning in Manchester. (Mark Hayward/Union Leader)

MANCHESTER — A 12-year-old was asleep in his bed when gunfire erupted and nine bullets penetrated his inner city apartment bedroom overnight Wednesday, according to his distraught mother.

Five holes were visible in the window closest to the boy’s bed. Another four were in an adjacent window. Inside the apartment, bullet holes marred several interior walls.

“If he was watching TV he would be dead,” said Beatrice Habyalimana, 52.

She said she was in the bathroom when she heard the gunfire. The bullets let loose plaster dust throughout the apartment, she said.

Habyalimana said the drive-by shooting took place about 12:15 a.m.

Police arrived in the 200 block of Central Street, between Union and Beach streets, about 12:30 a.m. to investigate, according to a police news release.

Habyalimana lives in the apartment with her son Jacques, a McLaughlin Middle School student, and an older son, Francois, who is 21.

Habyalimana suspects it was young people, but she doesn’t know why.

“I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I don’t know why people (would) shoot me,” she said.

Police stayed at the apartment for hours, digging bullets from walls and interviewing neighbors, she said. The found spent shell casings outside. Detectives are now investigating.

Habyalimana has lived in Manchester for 10 years, after fleeing Burundi as a refugee, she said.

“This is a good woman,” said her neighbor, Crystal Nichol, who lives in an adjacent apartment. “What if it hit my window? I’ve got four kids,” she said. She said the gunshots woke her up; she thought they came from the rear alley.

Police said several shell casings were located outside the apartment, and an investigation is under way to determine who did the shooting.

Ange Nish, 16, helped Habyalimana with translation. She said Habyalimana got little sleep after the shooting. She doesn’t feel safe in her apartment now and wants to move, Nish said.

There is a lot of yelling and arguing in the neighborhood. “People are going at it all the time,” Nish said.

Nish, who is also Burundi, said the country’s immigrants bring over some animosities from the old country. But the teenagers and young adults from her country don’t carry guns.

“We do have conflicts, but it’s not enough to shoot up a home. We’re peaceful about it,” said Nish, a sophomore at Central High School.

Police are asking anyone who lives in the area who might have video surveillance from Thursday morning to contact them at 668-8711.

Public Safety Crime Manchester

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