NEW YORK - A 14-year-old was in court Friday in connection with Thursday's fatal shooting of a New York resident and father of two on a Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus in Brooklyn, reports CBS New York.
Police said that Kathon Anderson has been charged with murder, along with other charges including criminal possession of a weapon and criminal use of a firearm. His name has been released because he is being charged as an adult.
In court Friday, a judge said Anderson admitted opening fire on the bus and shooting 39-year-old Angel Rojas in the head around 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
Anderson was reportedly sitting in the back of the bus when his intended target boarded, sources told CBS New York. Authorities said that the suspect got up from his seat and - without saying a word - fired once, striking Rojas.
"There was a lot of blood everywhere, and I saw the patient leaning against the window of the bus, holding his neck because of the injury that occurred to him," said Woodlyn Fenelus, a member of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Volunteer Ambulance Corps, whose members provided aid at the scene.
"He was still alive," Fenelus told CBS New York.
Police said that Rojas was taken to the hospital but died by the time he arrived. Authorities, who recovered a firearm involved in the crime, believe the shooting was gang-related and said that Rojas was not the intended target.
NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton commented on the nature of the shooting, telling CBS New York, "This, once again, involves crews, the stupidity of gangs that basically over nothing try to kill each other and, unfortunately, in the process kill innocents."
Sources told the station that Anderson was taken into custody not far from the scene after fleeing the bus with other terrified passengers.
Anderson's public defender spoke after court on Friday. "Just as everyone in New York probably feels terrible about [Rojas' death], we feel terrible about it too.... We're just going to ask everyone not to rush to judgment."
"[Angel] lived for us.... He was a good man that didn't hurt anyone," said the victim's wife, Maria. She said her husband, who worked long hours to provide for his family, was taking the bus from one job to another. According to CBS New York, Rojas worked at two grocery stores to support his wife and kids.
Saudy Rojas, the victim's 12-year-old son, told the station that his father was the best dad. "He had Sundays off and we used to go to restaurants, we used to do stuff together as a family.... Why did a 14-year-old have a gun? He shouldn't have a gun at all."
Maria Rojas told CBS New York that she wants her husband to be buried in the Dominican Republic. She is not sure how she will continue to pay the bills without Angel's income. In addition to Saudy, she has an 8-year-old daughter named April.
Anderson is due in court next week, when a grand jury will hear his case.