Each evening, Delia M. Rosario enjoyed sitting on a bench in front of her apartment in the Maryner Towers.
The 65-year-old woman was doing just that at about 10 p.m. Saturday when suddenly she felt a sharp pain in her arm and chest, and saw blood.
She managed to return to her apartment and call her daughter, who rushed her to Buffalo General Hospital.
Doctors at first though she had been stabbed, but surgery revealed a bullet that had penetrated the back of the bench on which she was sitting, gone through her upper left arm and into her chest.
She was listed in critical but stable condition Sunday night, and Detective Mark Vaughn of the Major Cases Squad said doctors told him that the bullet had done considerable damage.
During a routine patrol, meanwhile, two Housing Authority officers heard two shots coming from near the footbridge that crosses the Thruway to LaSalle Park.
A man, they said, approached them, and they asked whether he had heard anything. He said no, but Officers Chad Maloney and Jim Borkowski said they noticed a bulge and lifted his shirt to find a .367-caliber Magnum stuck in the waistband.
Police said they did not learn until later that one of the shots had hit Mrs. Rosario.
David Franco, 20, of Fargo Avenue was charged with first-degree assault, reckless endangerment and possession of a weapon.
Four rounds were found in the handgun, police said.
Franco reportedly told police he had fired the weapon into the air, but the apparent trajectory of the bullet and the force of the slug cast doubt on that, police said.