Daily Mail (London), May 5, 2014
Shortly after his arrest for alleging killing a stranger on a Brooklyn bus, 14-year-old Kahton Anderson made a statement to the police giving sad insight into the confused mind of a terrified young man.
Anderson allegedly shot and killed father of two Angel Rojas, 39, on accident as he fired on rival gang members.
‘Who did I hit? Was it a rival or an innocent man? Why didn’t I just go home?’ he wrote in his statement, as reported by the New York Daily News.
‘They came at me on the bus, and I was scared. Yo am I gonna do life for this? It’s my brother’s gun. It’s war out here, so n***** gotta carry guns. Oh man I’m f***** man, that n**** Jayquan man. Every time I’m with this n****’.
A member of the Stack Money Goons gang, Anderson told an officer at the 79th Precinct station house he needed the .357 Magnum to protect himself.
At the time of the shooting both he and Rojas, strangers to one another, were riding the B15 bus through Bed-Stuy.
Rojas was reportedly coming home from work from his job a deli before starting a second shift at a different store.
Rojas was three rows behind Anderson when the boy saw three teens who were allegedly members of a rival gang, stood up, and fired a single shot.
Instead of the intended target the bullet struck Rojas in the head.
Anderson’s lawyer Frederic Pratt has urged people to weigh the circumstances of the shooting when judging the boy’s actions.
Anderson and the other as-yet unidentified teens then all fled the bus. According to the NYPD five more shots were fired once they were on the street.
The bus driver sped two blocks away before finding an ambulance.
Rojas was alive when paramedics found him, but died on the way to Woodhull Medical Center.
Anderson was found and arrested shortly after the shooting ended.
‘Kahton’s culpability has to be considered in light of all the surrounding circumstances,’ Pratt told the New York Post outside Brooklyn Supreme Court.
He has been charged with second-degree murder, criminal use of a firearm, and criminal possession of a weapon.
He will be tried as an adult and faces life in prison if convicted.
Anderson has pled not guilty.
One of Rojas’s children, 12-year-old Saury, told reporters that his mother only works part-time and is ‘worried about the rent.’
‘If we don’t pay the rent, she says we don’t know where we’re going to end up.’ Saury said of the East Flatbush family who moved to New York from the Dominican Republic in 2010.
Anderson’s mother, who declined to give her name out of fear of gang retaliation, told reporters both families had ‘suffered a loss’ and that her son sympathized with the Rojas family.
‘The stupidity of those gangs that basically over nothing are trying to kill each other, and unfortunately in the process kill innocents, as they did with this hardworking young man trying to raise his family,’ Police Commissioner Bill Bratton told reporters. ‘A life needlessly lost, taken by a 14-year-old who felt it necessary to carry a gun on a city bus and shoot.’