What community leaders are calling a “senseless act of violence” has left a 14-year-old girl dead, a family devastated and a neighborhood outraged.
D’aja “Asia” Robinson was shot and killed on Saturday aboard a Q6 bus near Sutphin Boulevard and Rockaway Boulevard. Robinson was on her way from a sweet 16 birthday party when a shooter allegedly fired multiple times into the bus from the sidewalk, police said.
“That was my only child. My heart. My everything,” Shadia Sands, the teen’s mother, said through tears. “I don’t know how to deal with this.”
Since the incident, there has been an outpouring of grief from the community. Friends and family covered a bulletin board near the bus stop with hundreds of messages to Robinson. They described her as a charismatic, sweet girl who was a gifted singer and dancer.
Her grandmother, Cheryl Sands, stood at the board, stroking pictures of “her baby.”
“I’d die myself for [her] to come back here and live [her] life,” she said. “My heart is bleeding. She was a good girl.”
The southeast Queens community came together on Tuesday to call on the shooter or shooters to come forward. NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly said police are looking for a suspect between the ages of 18 and 25 who was last seen wearing a black sweater, according to reports.
“South Jamaica is standing unified behind this family,” said Councilmember Ruben Wills.
Wills noted that prior to the shooting, the area went 255 days without a violent incident and said that South Jamaica is “not a hyper-violent community.”
The City Council announced it allocated $4.8 million to initiatives such as Cure Violence to put an end to shootings. Wills said there will be a meeting next month to discuss directing resources to the community.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said the city hopes to “make this a summer where we don’t have to ever gather again to talk about the end of a child’s life.”
“What we do know is that we failed [Robinson]. The United States Congress in particular failed to protect her,” said Congressmember Gregory Meeks.
Meeks called on the Congress to “enact meaningful gun control legislation to help stop the carnage in communities and homes and now buses across the nation.”
Students at Robinson’s school, Campus Magnet High School, wore purple, pink and blue earlier this week in memory of their classmate.
Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit tips by logging onto Crime Stoppers website or by texting their tips to CRIMES (274637) and entering TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.
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