A sweet-16 party ended in tragedy this weekend after a New York partygoer was the victim of a shooting. Police said a teen was killed Saturday traveling on her way home from the celebration after being hit with a bullet to the head while riding a Q6 bus in Queens.
According to police, the victim was 14-year-old Daja Robinson. Authorities said the South Jamaica native was hit with a stray bullet near her hometown at 8:45 p.m.,NBC reports. Police said there are currently no leads in the deadly shooting but are considering it was gang-related. Robinson is not considered a designated target in the attack. Upon investigation, nine bullet shell casings were found at the scene.
According to the New York Post, eyewitnesses claim to have spotted the unidentified gunman targeting a group of young girls leaving the sweet-16 celebration before the attack. Robinson was reportedly hit with one of the nine bullets fired while boarding the bus. Authorities said the shooter was last spotted fleeing the scene near Sutphin Boulevard in Jamaica. The New York Daily News reports that, according to eye witnesses, the shooter appeared to be male, 18 to 25 years old and wearing a black sweater and beige undershirt.
According to the slain teen’s friend and shooting witness, Shaquana Almonds, Robinson left the party early in order to assist a friend, calling the fellow teen "innocent and sweet," according to a New York Post report Monday.
“She was supposed to go to another sweet-16 party with us, but she left because her best friend lost her money and wanted to go home,” Almonds said. “She’s dead because she got on the wrong bus at the wrong time,” she said, calling the shooting terrifying. “I was with her on the bus. We just heard, ‘He’s got a gun! Get down! Everyone, get down!’ Then, boom!"
“This is absolutely terrible," Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said. "A senseless shooting of a young girl who should be having the time of her life,” he said, confirming to NBC that Robinson was on her way home after attending a party with two friends at Onyx Lounge on Rockaway Boulevard.
An unidentified Onyx worker said no noticeable arguments occurred during the celebration Saturday night, telling the New York Post, “There was no altercation here. It’s not like anything spilled out from here.”
Robinson was pronounced dead at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center Saturday night at 9 p.m.
The teen’s passing marks the second death in one week for the New York area. On Friday, 21-year-old Hofstra University student Andrea Robello was accidentally shot and killed by police in her Long Island, off-campus home after a home invasion. Rebello’s twin sister, Jessica Rebello, survived the attack.