A 15-year-old boy has been arrested for a gang related drive-by shooting in the Bronx which killed an 11-year-old girl who was struck by a stray bullet.
Matthew Goodwin was charged with murder, manslaughter and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon for the death of Kyhara Tay, 11.
Alleged getaway driver, Omar Bojang, 18, is currently being sought by police.
Kyhara, was an innocent bystander when she was shot in her stomach on a Bronx sidewalk in front of her family on Monday.
The gunman was riding on the back of a scooter and appeared to be aiming at another target when the young girl was hit.
Goodwin, 15, was arrested around 2am Friday at a local hotel where his mother reportedly sent him to avoid arrest.
Police are still searching for Bojang who was believed to be driving the scooter during the drive-by. He is also wanted for robbery.
Alleged getaway driver, Omar Bojang, 18, is currently being sought by police
A 15-year-old boy was arrested for the fatal shooting on Kyhara Tay, 11 (pictured)
‘Mr. Goodwin is the subject who pulled the trigger while riding on the back of the moped. Instead of hitting his intended target. However, he ended the life of a totally innocent, completely uninvolved 11 year old girl,’ Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said during Friday’s news briefing.
‘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? 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. They have devastated a family while at the same time ending their own lives as they know them.’
Goodwin was arrested at the Hotel Ninety-Five in the Bronx, police revealed during a press conference Friday.
He was hiding out at the hotel with his mother and three other children. The family had rented the hotel room on Thursday.
The girl, identified as Kyhara Tay, was just an innocent bystander half a block away when two teens (pictured) drove past on a moped and opened fire at around 5pm Monday
PICTURED: The suspects are seen if footage riding a moped on the sidewalk and opening fire
The young girl, said to be an innocent bystander, was hit in the stomach by a gunman riding on the back of a scooter through the Bronx on Monday
The teen was arrested without incident and charged with murder in the second degree, manslaughter in the first degree, and a criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree. No charged were filed against Goodwin’s mother.
‘We are talking about a gunman who is too young to be a gunman because he is 15-years-old,’ Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark said.
Goodwin had no prior arrests, but had previous encounters with law enforcement, including once in October 2019 when he was slapped over his allege gang membership.
‘As a 12-year-old he’s a victim of harassment,’ Chief of Detectives James W. Essig said during the news briefing. ‘Someone smacked him in the face and stated: “Are you a member of the 800 YGz?” – which is a notorious violent gang.’
Essig believes Bojang, the alleged getaway driver, is a member of the MoneyWell gang member, a subset of 800 YGz. He has been shot twice and has prior arrests for gun possession.
‘It’s your responsibility as well, turn him in,’ Clark added, pleading with residents to disclose any information about his whereabouts. ‘The community is not safe as long as he is out there and wanted.’
‘We are talking about a gunman who is too young to be a gunman because he is 15-years-old,’ Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark (pictured at podium) said during Friday’s news briefing
Crimestoppers and NYPD are offering a combined award of $10,000 for information leading to Bojang’s arrest. An initial amount, up to $3,500, will be paid upon the arrest and indictment of Bojang. The additional $6,500 will be paid if the 18-year-old is convicted.
NYPD believe Goodwin and Bojang were targeting another teen during the shooting, but instead hit Tay, who was standing at a nearby nail station with a friend.
The two suspects were chasing a teenage boy towards 165th Street, who then attempted to enter 1015 Fox Street, causing the scooter to drive past him.
Police said the boy then began running in the opposite direction, at which point the passenger on the scooter, believed to be Goodwin, opened fire at him.
However, the reckless gunfire missed him and instead hit Tay in the abdomen around half a block away.
After being hit, witnesses saw the Tay walk into the salon where she then passed out. She was rushed to Lincoln Hospital in a critical condition and later died from her wounds.
Police officers have released footage from a surveillance camera that captured the shooting. The video shows the suspects riding on the moped down the sidewalk, with the passenger pointing a firearm at his target and opening fire.
Kyhara’s classmates pay tribute to her on Thursday at a memorial put up near the site of the fatal drive-by shooting
Kyhara’s parents are seen grieving as they walk by her memorial during an anti violence rally on Thursday
Tay is the latest victim of gun violence in New York City. In recent months, several young people have been shot – either intentionally or accidentally.
She was the second child shot in the Bronx this year. An 11-month-old baby was struck by a stray bullet in the left cheek while sitting in a parked car with her mother on January 19. The baby underwent brain surgery that same month.
Three hours before Tay was shot on Monday, two teenage boys were struck by bullets in Brooklyn, and last Wednesday, a 17-year-old son of a NYPD police officer was struck by a bullet in the arm across from his High School in Queens.
Police said he was not the intended target of the shooting.
At the end of April, 14-year-old Kaitlyn Lau, also in Queens, was hit in the neck by a stray bullet. The teen survived, but it was later reported she could be paralyzed as a result of her injuries.
Overall crime is up 40 percent in New York City, while carjacking is up 58 percent
Overall crime is up 40 percent, slightly down in the last few months, but that doesn’t console New Yorkers, who are still facing large feats of violent crimes as criminals continue to be let back out on the streets.
All violent crime is up, except murder and shooting victims, which is down almost 12 and 3.5 percent, respectively.
Transit is up the highest at 62 percent as New Yorkers have experienced several passengers being pushed onto tracks, as well as a mass shooting on Brooklyn subway train.
Assault is also up almost 20 percent and burglary and robbery have spiked 33 and 42 percent, respectively.
New Mayor Eric Adams has promised to tackle the city’s soaring crime rates. At Friday’s press conference, he pleaded for Bojang to turn himself in and addressed the surge in youth-involved shootings.
‘Kids killing kids. Illegal guns are as easy to buy as candy and comic books,’ he said.