The second teenage suspect who turned himself in on Monday in connection to the broad daylight shooting death of an 11-year-old girl in the Bronx had his first court appearance Tuesday -- a day after turning himself in -- to face a number of charges brought against him, including that of murder.
Omar Bojang was remanded after being arraigned Tuesday afternoon on murder in the second degree, manslaughter in the first degree and weapons charges in connection the shocking death of Kyhara Tay.
Bojang's next court date is set for Friday.
His attorney did not comment on the case.
Although his appearance in court was quick, prosecutors provided the judge with background in the case as well as Bojang's criminal history, which allegedly includes two open gun cases in family court, two arrest warrants with one being in youth court as well as a complaint for attempted murder. The prosecutor also called Bojang a flight risk -- a notion that the judge agreed with.
The Bronx District Attorney's Office said that the 18-year-old turned himself in at their office alongside his attorney and parents Monday, and said nothing when he was later led out of the police station in handcuffs.
Bojang had been wanted since Friday in connection to the deadly shooting of Kyhara. Bojang, who law enforcement officials said is a gang member with previous arrests, is believed to have been driving the moped from which the young girl was shot and killed.
The suspected shooter who fired the bullet believed to have killed Tay as she walked with family members on a Bronx street on May 16 was arrested Friday, police said. That suspect, just 15 years old, is also facing charges that include murder, manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon.
“The tragedy here is that we're talking about a gunman who is too young to be called a gunman because he’s 15 years old,” Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said. "A 15-year-old who possessed a gun, fired a gun on a busy street at 5 o 'clock in the afternoon with no thought about his own human life or that of anybody else in the community.”
James Essig, the Police Department's chief of detectives, said the 15-year-old was being charged as an adult. It wasn’t clear if he had an attorney who could comment.
Authorities have said Tay was hit in the stomach when a duo on a moped opened fire at a group of men in Longwood, at a Westchester Avenue street corner.
"I won't say she was in the wrong place, because why shouldn't an 11-year-old child be able to stand outside in broad daylight," NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said at a Friday news conference.
Tay was pronounced dead at a hospital a short time later. Sources said the teenage suspect's alleged target was a 13-year-old, but he missed, striking Kyhara instead.
“Our children are having their entire childhoods taken from them,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “Can’t go to the park. Can’t go to the store. Can’t attend events. You have to sit home because they don’t feel safe enough to go out. We’re betraying these youths. We're failing them.”
The death of the sixth-grader has rocked her Bronx community. Family members and hundreds of others, including Adams and NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell, gathered once again on Monday at a wake for the young girl known as Kyky for short. Her father could only gush about his daughter, who he is now forced to bury.
"She was a lovely girl. She was a daughter, granddaughter, cousin, a niece, a goddaughter. That's everybody's baby," said dad Sokpini Tay. "We need all the support we can get right now."
"I'm sad and I miss her a lot and I can't believe she's dead. It hurts," said friend Kaylany Alvarez, who said she knew Kyhara since pre-school. "She would come over sometimes and we would be together and I woke up today and I found out that she got shot. I really miss her and I hope she's doing OK in heaven."
The next day, a crowd gathered for a rally in the girl's memory and to support her family, saying they are tired of living in fear of the violence in the streets, and angry those responsible are still being sought.
"These kids are doing wild, wild west out here," Longview resident Luis Torres said, adding "this is the worst tragedy I have seen in my whole entire life."
No one else was wounded in the shooting.