BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — A 15-year-old boy was convicted of murder Monday for killing an innocent passenger when he opened fire on a Bed-Stuy bus.
Kahton Anderson, who officials say is a member of the Stack Money Goons gang, was on a southbound B15 bus during rush hour on March 20, 2014 when three rival gang members boarded, according to the Brooklyn District Attorney's office.
Anderson, of Bed-Stuy, pulled a revolver from his backpack and opened fire, officials said.
Instead of hitting his rivals, he fatally shot 39-year-old Angel Rojas.
Rojas, a father of two, had been sitting in a forward-facing seat on the bus and talking on his phone when he was struck in the back of the head, according to the DA’s office.
After shooting Rojas, Anderson ran off the bus, following the Twan Family gang members and continuing to fire his gun, officials said.
Anderson was convicted Monday of second-degree murder, second-degree attempted murder and first-degree attempted assault, among other charges.
He is expected to be sentenced on Feb. 18 and faces up to 15 years to life in prison.
“Angel Rojas was an innocent and hardworking man who came to our country to pursue the American Dream,” Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson said in a statement.
“All of that was tragically and brutally taken away from him in an instant by a teenager caught up in the gang culture and the random and senseless gun violence that it spawns. Hopefully, this conviction will bring his shattered family some solace."
Anderson's lawyer, Frederic Pratt, said the incident was "tragic," but called Monday's decision a "big disappointment."
"I don’t believe that Kahton had the intent to kill, so I didn’t think he should’ve been convicted of murder," Pratt said.
"There was definitely gun play going on between rival gangs, and that’s the senseless and deplorable, but in this situation Kahton wasn’t looking for gun play."
Pratt added that Anderson had been on his way home for dinner and "reacted badly" when he was confronted by his rivals.
"We feel terrible for Mr. Rojas and for his family, and his kids especially," Pratt said.
Anderson had been previously convicted of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and first-degree reckless endangerment at an earlier trial linked to the same incident.
He awaits sentencing on that conviction, according to the DA’s office.