A 17-year-old girl was arrested for the murder of a 14-year-old Bronx boy named Prince Shabazz, on November 30.
A surveillance video showed two shooters, in black clothing, ambushing Shabazz and his 15-year-old brother. They appeared from a car parked on Morris Avenue near East 182nd Street in Fordham Heights.
The two teens attempted to escape with the shooters in hot pursuit while firing randomly. Shabazz, who wore a white shirt, was struck down while his brother escaped uninjured. He was shot in the chest, hip, and foot and immediately rushed to St. Barnabas Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The victim’s mother said Shabazz was a beloved charming boy.
“He cared about looks, he cared about girls, he cared about clothes and looking good,” she said. “Anybody who met him, he’ll just charm you.”
Meanwhile, the two assailants escaped while clutching their guns, but a surveillance video from a nearby store managed to capture them running down Morris Avenue, leading to one of them being arrested. Police sources said the suspects targeted the older brother, an aspiring drill rapper, motivated by a drill rap dispute.
On Wednesday, the suspect was charged with murder, manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon. According to the records, she fired at least eight shots. Due to being a juvenile, her name has not been made public. She was questioned at the 46 Precinct and asked for a lawyer with her mother present.
Rise of shootings committed by youngsters
According to Tina Moore and Jorge Fitz-Gibbon from the New York Post, there has been a growing number of cases involving New York kids getting shot, with the perpetrators being other youngsters.
Recent statistics from NYPD show that youngsters were involved in 98 shootings in five boroughs this year. About 119 of their targets are children under 18-years-old.
According to the memo from the department, 12.7 percent of identified shooters were below 19-years-old during the first eight months of 2022. In the same period of 2017, there were approximately 9.2 percent of shooting cases with teenagers identified as the perpetrators.
“Unfortunately, we are seeing the highest levels of youths under the age of 18 involved in gun violence.”
James Essig, Chief of NYPD Detectives
In WABC’s Cats at Night radio show, NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said that the availability of the weapon was one of the causes that increased the number of shootings committed by youngsters.
“And in certain circumstances, there are no repercussions for when people get arrested for guns,” Essig said. “They’re coming right out [of court].”
Essig also said another driving force was the disruptions between street gangs with younger members joining the ranks.
“You have a lot of it where the taunting goes back and forth, and, unfortunately, a lot of these kids resort to violence.”
James Essig, Chief of NYPD Detectives
In September, president of the Citizens Crime Commission Richard Aborn said on average, teenagers started picking up the first illegal weapon at the age of 12 or 13, compared to the years when the average age was 16 to 17.
Records of shooting incidents involving youths in 2022
Data from NYPD stated there were 102 shooting incidents committed by youths and targeting other young people in New York throughout last year. There are also multiple cases of children committing shootings since early this year.
In early January this year, a 17-year-old boy shot an NYPD officer, Keith Wagenhauser, outside the 25th Precinct stationhouse. Wagenhauser survived his injury, and the unnamed teen was arrested.
On September 3, 17-year-old Shantasia O’Brian was found riddled with gunshots near Brookville Boulevard in Rosedale, Queens. The suspect was a 15-year-old boy, and he was charged with manslaughter, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, as well as tampering with physical evidence. Police were unable to say if the shooting was an accident or intentional.
In October, Jayjon Burnett, 15, was shot and killed on a Queen’s A train during a scuffle between two teenage groups. The suspect was 18-year-old Keyondre Russell of Far Rockaway. Although he was arrested, a grand jury failed to charge him with murder.
However, he was charged with weapon possession, tampering with evidence and menacing. During the interview, he remained defensive and denied the accusation of murdering Burnett.