Being hailed as a hero, Jeselle Page selflessly put her own life before her nephew’s as shots rang out near a playground. As the family and community grieve, she is being remembered as a woman who made the ultimate sacrifice for a child she cared for so much.
A stray bullet shot Page on Sunday afternoon when two men were involved in a gun battle on Morris Street in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn. Reports indicate that Page was watching her 8-year-old nephew, R.J. Gomez, while he was in a playground. Page was babysitting for a family member.
As bullets flew, Page, shot in the chest, nonetheless picked up the boy, shielding him and taking him to safety. Terrence Villanueva was arrested and charged with killing Page. His rap sheet spans back to 2002 with crimes that include rape, assault, and drug and weapons possession. He served a yearlong prison sentence in 2006.
Page had just moved into the neighborhood from Harlem. She recently won a lottery for an affordable apartment living alone. She had been living in Bushwick for only six months.
Speaking to the AmNews on behalf of the family, Page’s brother Kevin Fountain said that his sister was the youngest of a family of six sisters and one brother. Affectionately known as “Jazzy,” Page had no children but enjoyed caring for them whenever someone needed the help. “My sisters are taking it kind of hard and my nephew is traumatized,” he said. “Everybody is taking this on different levels.”