Rondell Pinkerton, 17, has been charged in the murder of 4-year-old Lloyd Morgan, who was shot in the head while playing in a Bronx park, reports the Huffington Post.
After telling police that he was one of several men involved in the shoot-out during a basketball tournament that killed the child, Pinkerton, who goes by the name “Spyder,” was arraigned on charges of second-degree murder and attempted murder.
“As I entered the park, I was handed a .45-caliber gun,” Pinkerton said in a statement to authorities. “Courtney and Stormy started shooting at me. I returned fire with the .45-caliber I had.”
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“He is remorseful for what took place or what happened as a result of the altercation,” said public defender David Narain after the hearing.
Courtney Kelly, 26, was shot in the abdomen during the gun battle and was charged with criminal possession of a weapon on Tuesday, a felony. He remains hospitalized.
The gunfight shattered what began as a pleasant and peaceful Sunday evening in the Bronx, witnesses said.
“There was people sitting on the grass — it was so beautiful,” said one woman, who heard the shooting from her fifth-story apartment across the street, and declined to give her name. “I hear the bullets — like boom — and all of these people were screaming and trying to run,” the woman said.
On Monday night, family members of the slain boy gathered with neighbors and city and community leaders to mourn his death and call for action to stem the bloodshed. Shootings have increased more than 12 percent from last year citywide, police statistics show, and a single week in early July saw 77 people shot and 18 killed, a spike of nearly 30 percent from the same week in 2011.
Kneeling on the same spot where her child fell dead, Shianne Norman lit a candle, choking back hysterical sobs as the neighbors surrounding her shook their heads in anger and wiped back tears.
“Can somebody tell me something that makes this make sense?” Norman said softly, tears streaming down her face. “You got to think. Think of all the people you’re affecting.”
The gunfire erupted in retaliation for a shooting that occurred in a neighboring housing project the night before. Unfortunately, this kind of random violence is not an anomaly in this neighborhood.
Three-year-old Isaiah Rivera of Brooklyn was hit after a hail of 13 bullets flew into a park where he was playing with friends. Luckily, he escaped with nothing more than bullet fragment in the leg, reports the Post.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said that the violence needs to stop.
“What I hope is we don’t have to see each other again under these circumstances,” Quinn said. “There have been enough shootings already, enough children lost.”