What to Know
- Marilyn Cotto Montanez, 18, died after she was shot in the head in Yonkers last week; police say she was an innocent bystander
- Police are now searching for Jamir Thompson, 15, of Yonkers, in connection with Cotto Montanez's death
- Cotto Montanez was laid to rest Thursday
Family and friends of an 18-year-old high school junior who was caught in the crossfire of a shooting in Yonkers last week remembered her as a "courageous" and "kind" person outside her funeral on Thursday.
Marilyn Cotto Montanez was laid to rest Thursday, a week after she died after she was shot in the head near Morningside and Lake avenues in Yonkers.
Many of the mourners wore pink — Cotto Montanez' favorite color — to pay tribute to her.
"To get this much love, you couldn't have been a bad person. Nobody comes out and shows this much love for no reason,” her brother Eugenio Cotto said Thursday. “I’m hurting, but I’m glad to have another angel to watch and protect over me. And all I can do is ask for strength."
Cotto Montanez, who had dreams of becoming a surgeon, had been taking advanced placement classes at Lincoln High School, Principal Ian Sherman said.
“She was scheduled to take an advanced placement Spanish test next week. I’m speechless on what happened," he said.
The student was "so courageous and she was just so kind," her friend Odalys Cruz added. "Even if she was having a bad day, she would make sure that you were okay."
Grief-stricken friends and family put together a memorial at the site where she was killed, not far from where her wake was held Wednesday.
Police are still searching for Jamir Thompson, 15, of Yonkers, in connection with her death.
Police say two groups got into a dispute after Jamir stole a gold chain from another person shortly before the shooting. At some point during the ensuing chase, Thompson pulled out a gun and fired at least one shot, hitting Cotto Montanez in the head, according to police.
Cotto Montanez was walking to the corner store near her home with her 9-year-old sister when she was hit, police said.
Jamir may have fled the New York area after the shooting, according to police. The Yonkers Police Department is now offering a $10,000 reward for any information that leads to his arrest.