Hero aunt saves niece from gunman

March 24, 2011 3:25:30 PM PDT
Police in Wilmington are investigating a gun battle in the city in which one of the triggermen tried to use a little girl as a human shield.

Investigators say the 5-year-old girl was waiting at a bus stop with her aunt, 26-year-old Yuliana Rangel, around 3:00 p.m. Wednesday when the gunman approached them.

Police say the man tried to grab the girl at the corner of Van Buren and Lancaster, but she was rescued by Rangel, who pulled the girl away from the suspect.

"We were lucky we didn't get shot, but if one of us would have gotten hurt, I would preferred me to get hurt, not my niece," said Rangel.

When he couldn't use the child to shield himself from the gunfire, police say the man ran as a second gunman opened fire on him. He returned fire as he fled.

A stray bullet from the exchange blasted thru Ken Carter's windshield, narrowly missing Carter and his 14-year-old son, who was in the front passenger seat.

"All of a sudden a bullet came through the window and just barely missed me by inches," said Carter, 42.

Investigators believe the first gunman was being chased for an unknown reason, and attempted to use the 5-year-old girl as a human shield during his escape.

The suspect was last seen running north on Van Buren Street. He is described as a black male approximately 5' 05" tall and weighing 150 lbs.

The second gunman was last seen fleeing west on Read Street. He is described as a black male approximately 6' tall and weighing 180 lbs. He was wearing a light blue jean jacket over a gray hooded sweatshirt.

Police ask anyone with information to call Detective Gary Tabor at (302) 576-3661.