Gunman Who Killed Queens Teen Opened Fire on Bus to Show Off, Sources Say
QUEENS — The gunman who unleashed a hail of bullets into a city bus over the weekend, killing 14-year-old D'aja (Asia) Robinson, was just trying to show off and scare people, police sources said as grieving friends and love ones decried the "senseless" act of violence.
According to the sources, the gunman who strafed the bus with at least 9 bullets opened fire randomly because there was no evidence of fights with bystanders on the bus or in the street or gang affiliations that could have sparked the fusillade.
“That’s my daughter’s only child and I’m never going to see her again,” said Sheryl Sands, D'aja’s distraught grandmother.
“They killed her for nothing. It’s killing me, I can’t take it,” she said. “She was my heart, and now my heart is bleeding.”
Sands also said that D'aja “was a very good girl and a good student... never caused any trouble.”
Robinson — who family said loved to dance and was a straight-A student — died from a bullet to the head while she was sitting on the Q6 bus about 9 p.m. on Sutphin Boulevard near Baisley Pond Park Saturday, on her way home from a friend's Sweet 16 party, police said.
On Monday morning, the teen's aunt said she blamed the girl’s death on the easy availability of the guns.
“Get these guns off the street,” she said crying as she arrived at a makeshift memorial next to the bus stop where the shooting occured, about 10 blocks from D'aja’s home on 116th Road in South Jamaica.
“We blamed the NRA,” said D'aja’s aunt, Anita France, referring to the National Rifle Association.
Since the shooting, mourners have been coming to the memorial to light candles, leave flowers and write messages of condolences.
On Monday, there was a police van parked at the bus stop where a poster was hanging, offering a $12,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the shooting. No one was in custody as of Monday afternoon.
Neighbors were also shaken by D'aja’s death.
“It’s sad. I’m traumatized by it,” said Vincent Felder, who lives on the same block. He said he used to call Daja an angel, because she was always smiling.
“Somebody has to do something about these guns, because these kids are dying every day,” he said. “Mothers are burying their children and it’s children who should be burying their mothers.”
Karma Alexander, who works at a Getty gas station across the street from the shooting scene, said that “it’s atrocious and sad that our precious babies are losing their life over this senseless violence.”
“We as a community have to do better,” she said.
The shooting also made bus riders nervous.
Sandra Singh, 34, who lives near the shooting scene and takes the same bus a couple of times a week, said she was scared to ride now. “Life is dangerous,” she said.
She added that a couple of years ago shootings were common in the area but the situation has since improved. The Saturday’s shooting was the first she remembered in a long time.
Local councilman Ruben Wills said in a statement, that “violence in any form is unacceptable especially when it results in the death of an innocent person, particularly a child.”
“My prayers go out to [D'aja] Robinson’s family at this time. We must do more to curtail the gun violence that is permeating our communities,” Wills said.
On Monday morning, School Chancellor Dennis Walcott visited Campus Magnet High School in Cambria Heights, which D'aja attended.
"I met with the staff at that particular school and conveyed my sympathies to them," he said. "I spoke to the family over the weekend and then about an hour ago I spoke to the mother again. And they appreciate all of New York City's condolences and support of them and trying to navigate a very difficult situation."