A 9-year-old Brooklyn boy who was struck in the head by a stray bullet showed some improvement today - giving his enraged family hope that he will survive.
"The doctors said it never happens this quickly - that it's a miracle," said John Kelly, the father of Shamshawan Kelly, who was caught in the cross-fire of a wild shooting Monday night near his Crown Heights home.
"Everyone is praying for him" said the father, who spoke near the doorway of their Weeksville Gardens building where Shamshawan was struck.
Relatives said the boy is still in critical condition at Kings County Hospital but was showing signs of recovery after nearly three hours of surgery.
"I believe we are witnessing a miracle," said his brother Johnnie Flocker, 24, who exhaled in relief at the thought that his young sibling was moving his hands and feet. "His doctors are telling us everything looks good."
Young Shamshawan was thought to be near death after a single bullet tore into his temple and exited his forehead at about 9:10 p.m. Monday as he played with friends in front of the Pacific St. housing project, cops said.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said the gunshots erupted when a man hanging around the building spotted a rival riding a bicycle nearby and began shooting at him.
"The individual on the bike returned fire," the top cop said.
One of Shamshawan's playmates dropped to the ground and avoided being struck by the flying bullets. Shamshawan apparently tried to run away when he was cut down, the commissioner said.
"We have some people that we want to talk to" he said before asking for witnesses to come forward to finger the shooters.
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz joined the young victim's family in pleading for the swift arrest of the gunmen.
"This is reprehensible!" he shouted, calling on the families of the shooters to turn them in. "They are personally responsible and should bring these people to justice."
Shamshawan was described by his father as an "outgoing" boy who was a good student and often stumped him in games of Connect Four.
"He'd always find a way to pull ahead," said Kelly, managing a smile before his thoughts returned to his son's tragedy.
"My son got shot by some real stupidity...We need to stop this nonsense. I don't want to see another parent go through this."