A 15-year-old boy who allegedly fired a shot that killed an 11-year-old girl in the Bronx earlier this week has been arrested — and police are still searching for his alleged accomplice, officials said Friday.
Police officers arrested the teen in connection with the shooting death of Kyhara Tay around 1:30 a.m. on Friday at a hotel in the Parkchester section of the Bronx, NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said at a news briefing.
The teen, who police said had two loaded guns on him, has been charged with second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, Essig said.
What You Need To Know
- A 15-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the shooting death of 11-year-old Kyhara Tay, the NYPD said
- Police say the incident began on Fox Street near Westchester Avenue in the Longwood section of the Bronx around 4:50 p.m. on Monday, when two people on a scooter began chasing a third person down the street
- One of the scooter riders fired at the third person but missed, striking Tay in the abdomen, police said
The NYPD released the teen’s name, but NY1 is not naming him because he is a juvenile, in accordance with our standards.
A spokesperson for the Bronx District Attorney told NY1 the 15-year-old was arraigned Friday afternoon in the youth part of criminal court, and pleaded not guilty.
Police are still searching for a second suspect, 18-year-old Omar Bojang, in connection with the shooting, Essig said.
Essig said the incident began on Fox Street near Westchester Avenue in the Longwood section of the Bronx around 4:50 p.m. on Monday, when Bojang and the 15-year-old boy — both of whom were riding a scooter — began chasing a 13-year-old boy down the street.
The 13-year-old tried to enter an assisted living facility on Fox Street, but ran south toward Westchester Avenue when he couldn’t enter, Essig said.
That’s when the 15-year-old boy fired at the 13-year-old and missed, hitting Tay in the stomach, he said.
“You’ve seen the video. [The 15-year-old] is the subject who pulled the trigger while riding on the back of the moped,” NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said at the briefing. “Instead of hitting his intended target, however, he ended the life of a totally innocent, completely uninvolved 11-year-old girl.”
“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?” Sewell added. “The teenagers who took Kyhara’s life — a sixth grader who, as her father said, didn’t even have the chance to grow up — they shouldn’t have been there.”
Authorities said Tay had been walking on the street with her family, about a block away from the suspects. Workers at a nearby nail salon told NY1 they tried to help the girl, but she died after emergency responders transported her to the hospital, according to police.
Essig on Friday said the 15-year-old suspect did not have any prior arrests, but he did have “previous contacts with police.”
In October 2019, the boy was the victim of harassment, when a suspect hit him in the face and asked him if he was part of the 800 YGz gang, Essig said.
The teen was also the victim of a shooting in the Bronx in January of this year, Essig added.
Bojang, meanwhile, is an alleged member of an 800 YGz gang subset who went to youth court for a gun arrest in June 2020, according to Essig. He also has an arrest warrant for a robbery pattern in the Bronx, Essig said.
At Friday’s news briefing, Mayor Eric Adams urged anyone with information about the shooting to come forward, while continuing to call for an end to the flow of guns coming into the city.
“We’re running out of baby formula in this city to keep children alive, but we’re not running out of guns to take their lives," Adams said. "That is what our country has become."
The mayor said he spoke with Tay’s parents at the hospital the night she was shot.
“They stated, ‘We don’t allow our child to go out. We let her go out this one time, and she never came home.’ It’s unimaginable, when you think about it. Our children are having their entire childhoods taken from them," he said. "Can’t go to the park, can’t go to the store, can’t attend events. They have to sit home because they don’t feel safe enough to go out."
“We’re betraying these youth, we’re failing them. We’re taking everything from them. We’re leaving them nothing, not even their lives,” he added. “Well I’m going to stand, I’m going to stand for them. And I’m asking New York to join us as we stand for these children. It’s time to end this senseless gun violence.”