The two teen suspects accused in the deadly shooting of an 11-year-old girl in the Bronx were indicted on murder charges, the district attorney said.
Omar Bojang, 18, and another 15-year-old suspect were arraigned Friday in Bronx Supreme Court on charges of second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, attempted murder and attempted assault. The younger suspect also faces two counts of weapon possession.
The charges stem from the killing of Kyhara Tay, who was not the intended target of the May 16 shooting. The attempted murder charges are related to the 13-year-old target who the teens intended to kill, said Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark.
"This case is a nothing less than a catastrophe of our young people. A beautiful little girl Kyhara, standing outside a nail salon in the afternoon, allegedly killed by a 15-year-old shooter, as he was driven on a scooter by an 18-year-old, and they were aiming for a 13-year-old boy. These ages make you weep," Clark said. "As I keep saying, we are losing a generation in the Bronx and we must act now to save our young people."
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Bojang has a lengthy criminal history, which prosecutors have previously detailed in court. It 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 Bronx District Attorney's Office said that the 18-year-old turned himself in at their office alongside his attorney and parents on May 23, days after police said that he had been wanted 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 20, police said.
“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,” Clark said previously. "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. Attorney information was not immediately available.
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 previous 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 rocked her Bronx community. Family members and hundreds of others, including Adams and Sewell, gathered for the wake for the young girl known as Kyky for short. Her father could only gush about his daughter.
"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."
No one else was wounded in the shooting.