NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A 17-year-old, who is among two people suspected in the fatal shooting of a young boy in the Bronx, was formally charged with murder on Wednesday afternoon.
Rondell Pinkerton also faces attempted murder and gun possession charges. A second suspect, 26-year-old Courtney Kelly, faces weapons charges. Police had been questioning both men since Tuesday.
Pinkerton appeared at Bronx Criminal Court on Wednesday afternoon and said nothing, 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported. However, the prosecutor in the case read some of the statements Pinkerton allegedly gave to police.
1010 WINS’ Al Jones With More On The Story
The teen allegedly claimed that when he arrived at the charity basketball tournament at the Forest Houses, where the shooting occurred, he was handed a .45 caliber handgun by an older friend. Prosecutors said Pinkerton said two men from a rival crew started shooting at him and he returned fire.
In the crossfire, one of those bullets hit young Lloyd Morgan, who was playing on a playground nearby, police said.
Pinkerton, who is known as “Spyder” on the streets, was caught up in a web of drugs and violence, according to authorities.
“They’re young men who hang out who do some low-level drug dealing, who were having this dispute. We think this was at the heart of the shooting where Lloyd Morgan was killed,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.
CBS 2 has learned Pinkerton moved out of state as a youngster, returned to the Bronx to live with relatives last year, but did not enroll in city schools.
Last fall, he was busted for marijuana possession, but was not in the NYPD gang database, police said. While some at Forest Houses describe the 17-year-old as “a punk,” Myra Otera disagreed.
“I don’t know. He was friendly. I’m surprised. He was very friendly to me,” she said.
In a community that’s touched by violence all too often, the death of an innocent preschooler really touched a nerve.
“All of it is senseless, all of it is senseless — all of it. All of it. Doesn’t make no sense,” Bronx resident Elido Dickson told CBS 2′s Tony Aiello.
Other neighbors seemed resigned to such violence.
“That’s life in the ghetto, life in the ghetto. I’m sorry it happened,” another resident said.
Still, some in the neighborhood said they are struggling to understand how such a tragedy could happen.
“Young people have a fascination with violence. They play violent games, watch violent movies and TV. It’s a part of their thinking, part of their culture, to them it seems to be the normal way of life,” said Morrisania resident Elaine Marks.
At least three guns were involved in the shootout, police said. Investigators recovered shell casings from a .25 caliber handgun, and .380 caliber handgun and a .45 caliber handgun.
A makeshift memorial now sits outside Lloyd’s house is in memory of the little boy who loved juice drinks and Cheese Doodles and dreamed of being an athlete when he grew up.
“He wanted to be a basketball player someday and I just feel like, he probably could’ve been the next basketball player,” said Shaniqua Williams, Lloyd’s cousin. ”But somebody shot him and he will never get that chance.”
Pinkerton will be back in court on July 30 and will remain behind bars without bail until then.
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