The police said that they had arrested a suspect in the fatal shooting of a teenager who was killed near her high school in the Bronx on Friday, the latest shooting in a monthslong string that has left New York City shaken.
Jeremiah Ryan, 17, of the Bronx, was charged with murder in the killing of Angellyh Yambo, 16, who was shot as she walked home from school.
At a news conference on Saturday, Deputy Police Chief Timothy McCormack said that Ms. Yambo and another 16-year-old girl were struck by stray bullets fired by Mr. Ryan from half a block away shortly before 2 pm on Friday.
A third victim, a 17-year-old boy, was struck by a stray bullet from one block away. The names of the boy and the other 16-year-old girl, who survived their injuries, were not released.
Chief McCormack said the victims were caught between two people on opposite sides of the street who were arguing and “gesturing” at each other before one, Mr. Ryan, pulled out a gun and opened fire. It was not clear what the argument was about.
The chief said the shooting was captured on surveillance video and that Mr. Ryan, who was also charged with attempted murder and criminal possession of a weapon, had no criminal history and “zero police contact at all.”
“We have two families that are completely destroyed right now: the victim’s family and our shooter’s family,” Chief McCormack said.
Ms. Yambo was killed just blocks from her home in the South Bronx and around the corner from University Heights Secondary School. She was pronounced dead shortly after emergency responders brought her to Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx.
Chief McCormack said on Friday that the police believed the victims were headed home from school.
“Angellyh Yambo had a bright future,” the New York City police commissioner, Keechant Sewell, said on Saturday. “She was doing everything right.”
On Friday, Commissioner Sewell said that gunfire erupted when “brazen criminals” standing near the school “opened fire during a dispute.”
Diana Marrero, 54, said she had lived in an apartment on the same floor as Ms. Yambo and her family for several years in a building on East 156th Street in the Melrose neighborhood. She described Ms. Yambo as “always serious.”
“She used to say hi every day walking her dog down,” Ms. Marrero said. “She used to go to school and come back home. She wasn’t a girl who used to be hanging out there or nothing.”
Hazel Cheeseboro, 15, described Ms. Yambo as a selfless and caring friend.
“She was really energetic,” said Ms. Cheeseboro, who said she had known Ms. Yambo since elementary school. “She was a happy person. She showed love and attention to you no matter what. She put you before herself.”
Ms. Yambo had attended University Prep High School, a charter school, which held an assembly and offered counseling services to its students on Saturday morning, said Tawana Houston, a school safety agent there.
“Her friends came, her family came,” Ms. Houston said. “They did have a little memorial. I know that because they had flowers.”
It was not immediately clear where the other two victims attended school.
An impromptu memorial was also set up outside Tony’s Mini Market near the site of Ms. Yambo’s death. Candles and flowers were piled on the pavement, and someone left a pink, heart-shaped balloon with a message written on it in marker: “Sleep in heavenly peace, princess.”
Kee Brooks, 50, has lived in the neighborhood for 25 years and lost her father to gun violence years ago. Ms. Brooks said she did not know Ms. Yambo but said her death led her to think of her own nieces and nephews.
She called the gun violence “just heartbreaking,” adding that the Bronx was “going through a rough time right now.”
“It’s just heartbreaking to me,” she said. “I can’t put it into words anymore. It’s just heavy.”
The killing of Ms. Yambo was the latest in a wave of gun deaths that began in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. The killings have ratted New Yorkers and challenged Mayor Eric Adams, who has said public safety is his top priority.
According to police data, there have been more shootings in New York as of April 3 than there had been by the same point in either 2020 or 2021. More than 330 people have been shot, the data shows.
Earlier on Friday, Commissioner Sewell spoke at another news conference about a separate fatal shooting in the Bronx. The commissioner announced the arrest of two men in connection with the killing of Juana Esperanza Soriano De-Perdomo, 61, who was shot in the back on Monday during a dispute among a group of men.
The men, Donald Johnson, 20, and Rakell Hampton, 33, were charged with murder on Friday, Commissioner Sewell said.
“This is another example of pointless violence on the street of our city,” she said. “Criminals cannot act with impunity. Everyone will be held accountable for their actions.”
Gina Heeb contributed reporting.
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