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The grief-stricken mother of a 14-year-old girl who was shot dead as she sat on a city bus in South Jamaica over the weekend had some stern words Tuesday for her daughter’s killer.
“We’re not at war out here. I don’t know why we have these two gangs running around here like this, and these little kids are not tough without a gun, so they need to just sit down,” Shadia Sands said as she sat on a bench in Baisley Pond Park, not far from where D’aja Robinson was gunned down by an unknown shooter Saturday night.
Sands said she dropped her only child off at a Sweet 16 party Saturday afternoon and because of the rain the teenager decided to ride the Q6 bus back home instead of walking the six blocks to her house.
According to the police, an unknown gunman opened fire on the bus around 8:30 p.m. as it sat idling near the intersection of Rockaway and Sutphin boulevards, fatally striking Robinson in the head before fleeing into the park. No one else on the bus was hurt.
Sands said she got a call and rushed to the scene.
“I seen my daughter coming out of the bus on the stretcher, not moving,” Sands said. “I knew for a fact that my child was gone right then and there.”
A number of elected officials gathered in the park Tuesday to condemn the shooting and call on community members to come forward with any information they may have about the shooter.
“She didn’t suffer,” City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) told Sands as she offered her condolences.
The 113th Precinct’s community affairs office said there is a $22,000 reward for anyone who can come forward with information leading to the arrest and indictment of the suspect, who was described as a man between the ages of 18 and 25 wearing a black sweater.
“This incident is heinous. It’s a senseless act of violence. But just to sum up the totality of it, it is cowardly,” Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica) said. “This community, South Jamaica, is standing unified behind this family. We are unified in the message calling for the cowards who committed this senseless act of violence to come forward, and if anybody in the community has any information, we are asking that you come forward also.”
Pastor Calvin Rice of the New Jerusalem Baptist Church said the entire community was backing D’aja’s relatives and members could show their support by overcoming the “No Snitch” culture.
“I know there’s something in this street that’s called ‘snitches get stitches,’ but let me tell you something, silence gets violence,” he said.
Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4574.
©2013 Community Newspaper Group
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