Innocent bystander shot twice on same street 20 years apart

Innocent bystander shot twice on same street 20 years apart

The innocent bystander who was shot in the face following Tuesday’s deadly explosion of violence near a Staten Island courthouse has been struck by a stray bullet before — and it happened on the exact same block.

Fran Williams, 67 — who was in critical condition Thursday after getting shot waiting for a bus on Jersey Street in New Brighton — was also shot in 1998 while doing her laundry on the same street, law-enforcement sources said.

“What a shame. Here is an innocent lady getting shot 20 years apart,” said a law-enforcement source. “Even during the crack days, drug dealers didn’t have that bad of luck.”

Details of the 1998 shooting were scant — and it was unknown whether anyone was arrested — but one source said Williams was not the intended target.

Williams’ latest brush with death came at the end of a gang battle that erupted at the courthouse in St. George and ended with a man fatally rammed by a minivan and five others arrested.

Members of two feuding crews came to blows inside the Central Avenue courthouse at around 11:45 a.m. Tuesday and were given summonses and tossed out by court officers, sources said.

Out on the street, at least one of the gangbangers pulled a knife, and five stole and piled into a 2012 Dodge Caravan, authorities said.

With court officers on its tail, the van sped to nearby Fort Place at Montgomery Avenue, where it plowed into Robert Craigwell, 26, pinning him against a bed-and-breakfast house, officials said.

Craigwell, an island resident, died at the scene, cops said.

The five occupants of the van, ages 16 to 24, were taken into custody at the scene, police said.

But the bloodshed wasn’t over.

About 30 minutes later and a half-mile away, a gunman opened fire on Jersey Street near Hendricks Avenue in what sources say was a retaliation attempt for the fatal van strike.

The only person struck was Williams, who was waiting at a bus stop not far from her home.

While it wasn’t clear whom the shooter was targeting, three of the five suspects in the van crash are listed as living on Jersey Street.

As of Thursday evening, no arrests had been made in connection with Williams’ shooting.

Neighbors know Williams as “Ms. Franny,” a cheerful animal lover who keeps to herself.

“She’s a great person with a great heart,” one acquaintance said. “She’s always in good spirits. She makes you laugh.”

Four of the van-crash suspects — Illya Baker, 22, Isaiaha Black, 20, Tyreek Gomez, 16, and Hassan Ray, 24 — were arraigned Thursday in Staten Island Criminal Court on charges of grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property and unauthorized use of a vehicle. Cash bail for each was set at $25,000.

The arraignment of the fifth suspect, Prince Edmonds, 19, was slated for Friday. As the suspected driver, Edmonds is additionally charged with manslaughter.

Additional reporting by Priscilla DeGregory

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