What to Know
- A New York City cab rider is crediting the vehicle's headrest for saving her life after a random bullet shattered the back windshield of the yellow car
- Hannah Warnaar tells NBC New York that she was on her way home from JFK International Airport just after midnight Monday when she heard a bang and glass hit her in the face
- It's unclear who fired the gun but it wasn't directed at the cab or Warnaar. The cab driver said he saw two cars that appeared to be racing one another on the highway before the shot hit the back of the cab
A New York City cab rider is crediting the vehicle's headrest for saving her life after a random bullet shattered the back windshield of the yellow car, missing her by just a few inches.
Hannah Warnaar tells NBC New York in an exclusive interview that she was "pretty tired" and was on her way home from JFK International Airport just after midnight Monday. She was scrolling through her phone in the back of the cab when she heard a bang.
"Some glass hit me in the face so I ducked down. I realized that I was bleeding," Warnaar recalled. She didn't immediately realize that a bullet had entered the back of the car and the cab driver thought the loud noise was fireworks.
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Then the driver turned around and saw that the back windshield had been fully shattered, so he pulled off the Van Wyck Expressway and called police.
After getting out of the cab, Warnaar found out just how lucky she was to be alive. A bullet hole can be seen in the cab's backseat headrest where Warnaar says she was sitting.
"If it had hit the headrest just a slightly different angle or spot. It's literally exactly where my head was, so that's obviously a horrifying thought to think about," she said.
It's unclear who fired the gun but it wasn't directed at the cab or Warnaar. The cab driver said he saw two cars that appeared to be racing one another on the highway before the shot went off.
The shooting is among the rising number of gun violence incidents across the city this year, which are up 18% from 2020. As part of recent local and federal efforts to curb shootings, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced just last week that the state is investing $16 million to fund workforce training and job placement programs in 20 cities most impacted by gun violence.
New York City mayoral candidates Democrat Eric Adams and Republican Curtis Sliwa have both expressed their concerns about the safety of residents and tourists as the five boroughs look to recover from the pandemic, but Warnaar says she won't let one shooting change how she feels about the city.
"I feel like it's such a random event to happen. It's like getting hit by lightning," Warnaar said. "The chance of it happening twice feels nonexistent. So for this to cloud my perspective of New York would feel ridiculous."