A teenager pleaded not guilty Wednesday in connection with a shooting at a Bronx park Sunday night that killed a little boy who got caught in the crossfire.
Rondell Pinkerton, 17, was being held without bail on charges of murder and criminal possession of a weapon in the death of 4-year-old Lloyd Morgan, who was caught in the crossfire when gunshots erupted in the Forest Houses Park in Morrisania.
Pinkerton said he fired in self-defense after someone else fired at him. Police told NBC 4 New York the shooting was in retaliation for a shooting the previous night, and may have had to do with low-level marijuana dealing.
"It is obviously a very sad situation when you have a 17-year-old admitting to the fact that he fired shots where a 4-year-old was killed," Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.
Detectives believe the shooting involved four members of one group against another person, sources said.
Courtney Kelly, 26, was also charged with criminal possession of a weapon. His role in the shooting wasn't immediately clear. Information on attorneys wasn't available for either suspect.
Police speculate at least three, possibly four, different guns were used in the shooting. Three different types of ammunition were used. Police believe revenge may have been the motive.
The gunfire broke out on a basketball court during a game that was being played as part of a memorial for a victim of violence, a woman who died here more than a year ago, residents said.
Morgan was struck in the head by a stray bullet and pronounced dead at a nearby hospital a short time later.
"My baby is gone," said his mother, Shianne Norman.
Authorities say two other men were also shot. A 27-year-old was shot in the stomach and a 21-year-old was shot in the arm. Both are expected to survive.
Mayor Bloomberg, who has taken a lead role in calling for stronger gun control, extended his condolences to the child's family, as lawmakers, clergy and residents in the community rallied Monday afternoon to call for an end to the violence. Lloyd's shooting was the latest incident in a rash of violence that has plagued the city in recent weeks.
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