An 18-year-old woman in suburban New York was gunned down last week while walking in the street with her younger sister and police now believe that the perpetrator of the crime is an eighth-grader who was caught up in a fight.
According to the New York Daily News, on Monday Yonkers, N.Y., police identified Jamir Thompson as a suspect in the shooting of Marilyn Cotto Montanez. Authorities say at just 15 years old, he already has a history of violent crime and gang ties, but they do not believe this incident is gang-related
Police believe that Thompson had stolen a gold chain from another teenager and a fight between him and a group of youths ensued. Amid the scuffle, Thompson allegedly pulled out a .9mm handgun and fired. Unfortunately when he shot at the group, he instead struck Montanez in the head.
It is unclear how Thompson got the weapon.
Monantez, who was walking down the sidewalk with with her 9-year-old sister, had her back facing Thompson when she was shot. She later died at a local hospital. Her sister was unharmed.
“This incident has deeply affected our community because an innocent life was lost,” said Yonkers Police Commissioner Charles Gardner said. “We will not rest until Jamir Thompson answers for his reckless and despicable conduct.”
Thompson was identified as the alleged shooter after police viewed hours of surveillance footage, issued warrants and conducted dozens of interviews. Montaez, was an unintended victim, Yonkers police said.
“We are working tirelessly to bring the responsible person to justice,” said Gardner.
According to New York radio station WCBS, Thompson’s family is not cooperating in the case. A $5,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to his arrest.
“If Jamir Thompson is watching, I have a message for you,” Gardner added. “We are considering you armed and dangerous. We are out looking for you as we speak. And for the safety of everyone, I urge you turn yourself in.