Boy, 14, Held Without Bail In Deadly Shooting On MTA Bus In Brooklyn
UPDATED 03/22/14 12:39 a.m.
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A 14-year-old boy appeared in court, and was ordered held without bail in the fatal shooting on a Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus in Brooklyn, police said Friday.
The teen — Kathon Anderson — is also charged with criminal possession of a weapon and criminal use of a firearm, police said. He was marched out of the 79th Precinct in Brooklyn early Friday evening.
Anderson has been charged as an adult with murder, and thus, his name has been released.
In court, a judge said Anderson admitted to opening fire on the bus and shooting Angel Rojas, 39, in the head.
Rojas, a father of two, was killed after the suspect opened fire on a crowded B15 bus in Bedford-Stuyvesant, police said. It happened around 6:30 p.m. Thursday near Greene Avenue and Marcus Garvey Boulevard.
“It sounded like Roman candles, like fireworks, like the Fourth of July come early,” said witness Tiger Ferguson.
The bus was directly across the street from the Bedford-Stuyvesant Volunteer Ambulance Corps, whose members rushed to help.
“There were a lot of rounds, a lot of blood, a lot of people running and screaming,” said the ambulance corps’ Nigel Phillips.
“There was a lot of blood everywhere, and I saw the patient leaning against the window of the bus, holding his neck because of the injury that occurred to him,” added the corps’ Woodlyn Fenelus. “He was still alive.”
Rojas was taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the head, but died by the time he arrived, police said.
Sources said the teen ran off the bus with other terrified passengers, but was later taken into custody not far from the scene.
Sources said Anderson was sitting in the back of the bus when his intended target boarded. Anderson allegedly stood, and without saying a word fired once and struck Rojas, authorities said.
Rojas was not the intended target.
Police believe the shooting was gang-related.
“This, once again, involves crews, the stupidity of gangs that basically over nothing try to kill each other and, unfortunately, in the process kill innocents,” NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton told reporters, including CBS 2’s Weijia Jiang.
Police said a firearm was recovered.
Anderson’s public defender spoke out after court on behalf of Anderson and his family.
“Just as everyone in New York probably eels terrible about it, we feel terrible about it too,” said attorney Frederic Pratt. “The other thing is we’re just going to ask everyone not to rush to judgment.”
But Rojas’ wife of 14 years, Maria, was inconsolable. She said her husband was taking the bus from one job to another, working long hours to support his family.
“He lived for us and he worked for his,” Rojas’ wife said in Spanish. “He was a good man that didn’t hurt anyone.”
The victim’s 12-year-old son, Saudy Rojas, told 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria that his father was the best dad.
“He had Sundays off and we used to go to restaurants, we used to do stuff together as a family,” Saudy said, adding that he wants the suspect to go to jail so he can’t hurt anyone else. “Why did he do this to my dad? Why did a 14-year-old have a gun? He shouldn’t have a gun at all.
“I didn’t want him to die. I wish he could be here right now next to me,” Saudy added.
Angel Rojas worked at two grocery stores to make ends meet. He took the bus home in between jobs to be with his kids and get something to eat, D’Auria reported.
Saury said he had one question for Anderson.
“Why did you do that to my dad?” he said.
Maria Rojas, who only works part time, said she has no has no idea how she will pay the bills for the family, which also includes an 8-year-old daughter April.
Maria Rojas said she wants her husband buried in the Dominican Republic. She told CBS 2’s Jiang she wants the teen suspect to face trial as an adult.
A grand jury will hear Anderson’s case next week.
Check Out These Other Stories From CBSNewYork.com: