NEW YORK CITY — A man wanted for killing a 14-year-old honors student as she sat on a bus in Queens was arrested in South Carolina and charged with her murder, law enforcement sources said.
Kevin McClinton, 21, was picked up without incident in the Riverland Park community of Cayce, S.C., in connection with the stray-bullet killing of D'aja Robinson on May 18, according to a U.S. Marshals spokeswoman.
Officers with the New York-New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force, NYPD and U.S. Marshals knocked on the door of McClinton's relative's house about 5 a.m., where cops tracked him after receiving a tip, and were let inside, sources said.
Authorities found McClinton laying in bed. He surrendered without incident and cops found no weapons with him.
He was charged with second-degree murder, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon, the Queens District Attorney said.
“The death of this young, talented fourteen-year-old is a senseless tragedy and another painful example of the mindless gun-related violence that too often takes innocent lives,” said DA Richard Brown in a statement.
Robinson had been sitting on a Q6 bus on Sutphin Boulevard and Baisley Pond Park, in South Jamaica, after attending a Sweet 16 when a hail of bullets tore through the bus.
One of the slugs hit her in the head, killing her.
At Robinson's house in South Jamaica, a man identifying himself as her grandfather said he was "ecstatic" that McClinton was arrested.
"He deserved it," said the man, who declined to give his name, and added that he would like to see "justice" in the case.
McClinton, who faces extradition, had not been charged as of Tuesday morning.
According to a police official, the shooter was targeting a girl who was sitting near Robinson on the bus.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has said that the shooting was gang-related.
Local Councilman Ruben Wills said that "the tragic death of young D’aja Robinson will not be forgotten nor overlooked."
"We can take momentary solace in knowing that Kevin McClinton, the alleged perpetrator, has been apprehended," Wills added. "As we continue to support the Robinson family in their time of need it is important that we do not lose sight of the progress we have made to combat violence in our communities."
Family members said that Robinson was a straight-A student who loved to dance.
"She was always bubbly. She was a sweetheart, loved to party," said her cousin, Joshlyn Danies, 16. "Always smiling. She used to dance reggae."
Thousands attended her funeral at Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York on Merrick Boulevard.