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Police seek 18-year-old Omar Bojang in killing of 11-year-old Kyhara Tay; Alleged gunman, 15-year-old Matthew Godwin, is under arrest

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Teenager in custody, 1nd suspect wanted for 11-year-old's death
Teenager in custody, 2nd suspect wanted for 11-year-old's death 02:02

NEW YORK -- A 15-year-old is under arrest in the deadly stray bullet shooting of 11-year-old Kyhara Tay, and police are searching for an 18-year-old. 

Anyone with information about the shooting or the suspects is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit a tip via their website or via DM on Twitter, @NYPDTips. All calls are kept confidential.  

See below for the latest updates. 

 

15-year-old Matthew Godwin arrested, 2nd suspect Omar Bojang sought

A 15-year-old boy is facing murder charges in the stray bullet shooting that killed an 11-year-old girl in the Bronx, and police are still looking for an accomplice.

The rain-soaked memorial for Kyhara Tay is growing by the hour as outrage over her murder grows with it.

"And I just thought of my niece and my family. Like, that could have been one of us," Bronx resident Joshua Adams told CBS2's Nick Caloway.

"We are talking about two teenagers who stole the life of an 11-year-old child in our city," Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said.

Sewell on Friday announced the citywide manhunt for 18-year-old Omar Bojang, the alleged driver of a moped spotted at the scene of the shooting.

Police say 15-year-old Matthew Godwin was riding on the back and pulled the trigger.

"They have devastated a family, while at the same time ending their own lives as they know them," Sewell said.

Police alleged the two were on the moped Monday afternoon, chasing a 13-year-old boy along the sidewalk on Fox Street and shooting at him, but they struck 11-year-old Kyhara Tay in the stomach, killing her.

Godwin was arrested overnight in a hotel in the Bronx, but police are still looking for Bojang.

"His friends, his family, whoever knows where he is, he should turn himself in to justice," Mayor Eric Adams said.

Adams was clearly frustrated by the scourge of gun violence that continues to engulf the city.

The tragic death of Kyhara Tay is the latest in a disturbing trend of kids being on both ends of gun violence in the city.

"This is what we're dealing with over and over: kids killing kids, illegal guns as easy to buy as candy and comic books. They are everywhere," Adams said.

According to the NYPD, there were 4,499 gun arrests in 2021, and 470 of the suspects were under the age of 18.

The number of youth shooting victims is surging. In 2019, there were five people under 18 who were shot and killed, then in 2020, there were 10. Last year, there were 21.

"Kyhara unfortunately was the second child in the Bronx killed by gunshot this year," Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said.

The Bronx alone, sixteen children age 16 and under have been shot this yeaer.

Police say Bojang is a known gang member with a prior arrest for gun possession and was wanted for robbery. There is a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

Matthew Godwin appeared in court Friday afternoon and pleaded not guilty.

 

Manhunt for shooting suspect Omar Bojang, who police say drove moped in shooting that left Kyhara Tay dead

Suspected gunman Matthew Godwin, 15, was arrested overnight at a hotel in the Bronx. 

Sources say he was there with his mother and struggled with police. 

Now they want to find the second suspect, 18-year-old Omar Bojang. 

As CBS2's Alice Gainer reports, family tends to the growing memorial on Fox Street where 11-year-old Kyhara Tay, known as Kyky to friends and family, was killed this week. 

Just before 5 p.m. Monday, police say two people on a moped were chasing a 13-year-old boy along the sidewalk on Fox Street, shooting at him, but they struck the 11-year-old in the stomach. 

Witnesses tried to help the child as she stumbled into a nearby nail salon. She was rushed to Lincoln Hospital, but later died. 

"They have devastated a family while at the same time ending their own lives as they know them," said NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell. 

NYPD update on stray-bullet shooting of 11-year-old Kyhara Tay 30:37

Friday afternoon, police announced Godwin's arrest. 

"Mr. Godwin is the subject who pulled the trigger while riding on the back of the moped. Instead of hitting his intended target, he ended the life of a totally innocent, uninvolved 11-year-old girl," Sewell said. 

Now the search is on for the second suspect - the driver of the moped. 

"New Yorkers, the second suspect is 18-year-old Omar Bojang, also from the Bronx," Sewell said.

Authorities say he is gang member. 

"Omar is not a stranger to law enforcement. He himself is a victim of gun violence – shot twice – arrested for gun possession and wanted for robbery, same pattern over and over again," Mayor Eric Adams said. 

Some of Kyhara's family members told Gainer she loved dancing, bubble tea, spending time with her cousins and had several siblings. Several signed pieces of posterboard at the makeshift memorial include notes from teachers and classmates, children now grieving the loss of a friend at such a young age. 

Many who didn't know her have also stopped by. 

"Things like this shouldn't happen. It's just sad. I work with kids myself, so I can't picture losing a kid," Bronx resident Loric Morales said. 

Kristie Nieves, the mother of Krystal Bayron-Nieves, killed by a gunman as she worked at a fast food restaurant in East Harlem in January came by. 

"We came to light a candle for the little girl, because she feels like the girl died in the same way her daughter died," Nieves' friend Nathalie Pagain said. 

Another family forced to say goodbye to their child too soon. 

Police believe the shooting was gang related. 

Godwin is charged with murder, manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon. 

Anyone with information about the shooting or the suspects is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit a tip via their website or via DM on Twitter, @NYPDTips. All calls are kept confidential.    

By Alice Gainer
 

NYPD officials outline details of shooting, investigation

NYPD officials released new details of the incident that resulted in Kyhara's death. 

They say it all began when Godwin and Bojang were on a scooter Monday at 4:50 p.m., chasing after a 13-year-old boy - the intended target. 

NYPD update on stray-bullet shooting of 11-year-old Kyhara Tay 30:37

The 13-year-old tried to enter an assisted living facility, and started to run away, when police say Godwin opened fire. 

"This reckless and irresponsible behavior resulted in an unattended, innocent 11-year-old being struck in the stomach by the stray bullet, causing her demise," said Chief of Detectives James Essig. 

Police say Matthew Godwin, 15, was arrested at 1:30 a.m. Friday at a hotel with his mother. Essig police say he faces murder, manslaughter and weapons possession charges. 

Essig said Omar Bojang, who police suspect was driving the scooter, is a known gang member. 

By Jesse Zanger
 

Adams: "This is what we're dealing with... kids killing kids"

"Listen to the numbers: 11, 15, 18," Mayor Eric Adams said. "They have engulfed violence in our city, and we must put it to an end. This is what we're dealing with, over and over: Kids killing kids. Illegal guns as easy to buy as candy and comic books. They are everywhere." 

"I've stated this before and I will say it again. I have never witnessed willingness to carry, easy access, and the willingness to use it the way we are seeing right now," Adams added. 

NYPD update on stray-bullet shooting of 11-year-old Kyhara Tay 30:37

Adams called on Omar Bojang to turn himself in. 

"We are doing everything we're supposed to do as a police department. The numbers are just horrendous... removing 2,887 guns off our streets since we took office. Those numbers are just alarming to think about. But there's an endless flow," Adams said. 

"We're running out of baby formula in this city to keep children alive, but we're not running out of guns to take their lives. That is what our country has become," Adams added. 

Adams said Bojang is "no stranger" to law enforcement, and has previously been shot twice, arrested for gun possession, and wanted for robbery. 

"Same pattern, over and over again. The same body of people doing the same actions, be part of the same revolving cycle of justice system that we're seeing," Adams said. "This time, his actions took the life of young Kyhara. It's a brutal cycle of neglect, of violence, and victimhood. A revolving door placed our children in harm's way. Our children are dying and gun violence is the key cause of it - the number one killer of our children." 

Adams said 18,000 children are shot each year in the U.S.

"This is the legacy that we're leaving our children," Adams said. "DA Clark put it best: We're losing a generation one bullet at a time." 

By CBS New York Team
 

Sewell: 15-year-old Matthew Godwin arrested, 18-year-old Omar Bojang sought

Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell delivered impassioned remarks announcing the arrest in the shooting, which she called "absolutely senseless." 

NYPD update on stray-bullet shooting of 11-year-old Kyhara Tay 30:37

Sewell said Matthew Godwin, 15, has been charged with her murder. 

"You've seen the video. Mr. Godwin is the subject who pulled the trigger while riding on the back of the moped. Instead of hitting his intended target, however, he ended the life of a totally innocent, completely uninvolved 11-year-old girl. I won't say she was in the wrong place, because why shouldn't an 11-year-old child be able to stand outside in broad daylight?" Sewell said. "The teenagers who took Kyhara's life, a sixth grader who, as her father said, didn't even have a chance to grow up, they shouldn't have been there. They have devastated a family, while at the same time ending their own lives as they know them." 

Sewell promised the "NYPD is far from finished with the case," promising to bring the moped driver to justice. Sewell identified him as 18-year-old Omar Bojang. 

"We are talking about two teenagers who stole the life of an 11-year-old child in our city. There is absolutely no justification for this tragedy," Sewell said. 

By CBS New York Team
 

NYPD presser this afternoon

Police are expected to release more details on the arrest in a press conference at 3 p.m.

Watch streaming live on CBS News New York.

By CBS New York Team
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