NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said a 14-year-old girl from Queens who was shot in the head and killed while on board a public bus was the victim of “another senseless shooting.”
Daja Robinson had left a Sweet 16 party with some friends when she got on board the Q6 bus in the southeastern part of Jamaica around 9 p.m. Saturday, Kelly told reporters Sunday.
She was on the bus when a gunman fired at least nine shots with .40-caliber bullets, ripping holes in the bus and killing Robinson, Kelly said.
“Terrible, this is, as I say, another senseless shooting,” Kelly said.
Robinson’s family visited the makeshift memorial at the scene of the shooting to view the outpouring of grief from the community.
As CBS 2’s Steve Langford reported Monday, the family has not commented but stood in silent disbelief that their teenager couldn’t make it home on a short bus ride home from a party.
A search for the shooter is under way, police said.
The shooter was outside the bus on Sutphin Boulevard on Saturday night when the shots were fired, police said. Robinson was struck in the right temple and pronounced dead at a hospital.
Kelly described the gunman as a man between the age of 18 and 25, wearing a black sweater. He said the party was peaceful and the motive remains unclear.
Police believe the shooting was gang-related, but Robinson was not connected to any gang activity, Langford reported.
Kelly said it appears Robinson was an innocent victim of the gunfire.
“One thing is clear — she was not, in our judgment, the target of the shooting,” he said.
Neighborhood residents were dismayed.
“I’m traumatized by it,” neighbor Vincent Felder said. “Catch who did it, that’s it. So she can rest and know he didn’t get away with the cruel crime.”
“She was a good kid, she ain’t deserve this,” Kenny Brown said.
“I can’t believe she’s gone. When I heard about it yesterday I was crying my eyes out, I couldn’t take it,” neighbor William McCoy said.
Family members have asked to be left alone as they grieve over the loss of their child, but community advocates expressed outrage over the girl’s death.
“Imagine how the mother felt last night when she got word her daughter ain’t come home no more, imagine how the father felt,” said Jamaica NAACP spokesperson Leroy Gadsden.
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