Police said they had arrested a suspect in the fatal shooting of a teenager who died just steps from a Bronx high school on Friday, the latest shooting in a series of months that has left New York City in shock. .
Jeremiah Ryan, 17, was charged with murder in the slaying of 16-year-old Angellyh Yambo, who was shot while walking home from school.
At a press conference on Saturday, Deputy Police Chief Timothy McCormack said Ms. Yambo and another 16-year-old girl were struck by stray bullets fired by Mr. Ryan from half a block away shortly before 2 p.m. Friday. .
A third victim, a 17-year-old boy, was struck by a stray bullet a block away. The names of the boy and the other 16-year-old girl, who survived their injuries, were not released.
Chief McCormack said the victims were pinned between two people on opposite sides of the street who were arguing and “gesturing” before one, Mr. Ryan, pulled out a gun and opened fire. It was not clear what the discussion was about.
The chief said the shooting was captured on surveillance video and that Mr. Ryan, who was also charged with attempted murder and criminal possession of a weapon, had no criminal record and “zero contact with law enforcement at all.”
“We have two families that are completely destroyed right now: the family of the victim and the family of our shooter,” Chief McCormack said.
Ms. Yambo was killed just blocks from her home in the South Bronx and around the corner from University Heights High School. She was pronounced dead shortly after emergency services took her to Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx.
Chief McCormack said Friday that police believed the victims were on their way home from school, though it was unclear if they were students from University Heights High School.
“Angellyh Yambo had a bright future,” New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said Saturday. “She was doing everything right.”
On Friday, Commissioner Sewell said gunfire erupted when “brazen criminals” near the school “opened fire during a dispute.”
Diana Marrero, 54, said she had lived in an apartment on the same floor as Ms. Yambo and her family for several years in a building on East 156th Street in the Melrose neighborhood. She described Ms. Yambo as “always serious”.
“He used to say hello every day by walking his dog,” Marrero said. “She used to go to school and come home. She wasn’t a girl who used to be hanging out there or anything.”
Hazel Cheeseboro, 15, described Mrs. Yambo as a selfless and caring friend.
“She was really energetic,” said Ms. Cheeseboro, who said she had known Ms. Yambo since elementary school. “She was a happy person. She showed love and care towards you no matter what. She put you before herself.
Ms Yambo’s murder was the latest in a wave of gun deaths that began in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. The killings have unsettled New Yorkers and challenged Mayor Eric Adams, who has said public safety is his top priority.
According to police data, there have been more shootings in New York since April 3 than at the same point in 2020 or 2021. More than 330 people have been shot, the data shows.
Earlier on Friday, Commissioner Sewell spoke at another news conference about another fatal shooting in the Bronx. The commissioner announced the arrest of two men in connection with the murder of Juana Esperanza Soriano De-Perdomo, 61, who was shot in the back Monday during a dispute between a group of men.
The men, Donald Johnson, 20, and Rakell Hampton, 33, were charged with murder on Friday, Commissioner Sewell said.
“This is another example of senseless violence on the streets of our city,” he said. “Criminals cannot act with impunity. Everyone will be held accountable for their actions.”
Gina Heeb contributed reporting.