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New York subway nightmare: Murder of teenager raises fatalities to eight this year

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US police investigate after Jayjon Burnett, 15, was shot at the Mott Ave. subway station in Far Rockaway, Queens, on September 14, 2022.

A 15-year-old boy has been shot dead while riding the New York City subway, raising the death toll of those killed there this year to eight.

Jayjon Burnett, who was struck by gunfire at least once in the chest at around 3:45 p.m on Friday., was taken from the train by a fellow passenger and pronounced dead at a hospital at 4:40 p.m.

Passengers took the victim off the train and placed him on the platform of the Far Rockaway-Mott Avenue subway station where two Transit Bureau officers, who were on patrol there, rushed to his aid, Chief Jason K. Wilcox, who heads the Transit Bureau, said.

A day after the shooting, Keyondre Russell, 18, was arrested and charged in connection with the incident. 

Burnett and Russell were both from Rockaway.

Burnett was gunned down during a dispute between two groups that turned deadly after someone aboard the train called for reinforcements, police sources said.

“The investigation is showing that this was not a random act of violence,” Wilcox said.

“We’ve seen a lot this year, where disputes quickly lead to verbal arguments, and then quickly lead to physical disputes — confrontations that unfortunately have led to violence. So we’ve seen that again,” he added.

There have been eight killings in the subway, including the one on Friday night, since the start of the year, Chief Wilcox said.

Among those killed on the NYC subway are the May slaying of Goldman Sachs employee Daniel Enriquez, who was shot and killed in a random attack on the Queen subway, and the fatal stabbings of Tommy Bailey, 43, and Charles Moore, 38.

The grieving mother of Moore, Frances Vanterpoole, 73, has campaigned against New York City officials for her son’s death, saying they are failing to keep New Yorkers safe.

Meanwhile, the distraught father of the Queens' subway victim said his son was a good boy who was not involved with guns.

“My son was a good kid. He was a straight ‘A’ student…I never had no problems with him from being in the streets or nothing like that,” Jeff Burnett told The Post. “He wasn’t no bad kid, he wasn’t having no guns, nothing like that.”

A friend described Jayjon as a good student who was on track to graduate early from high school.

“He was always either going to school or coming home,” a weeping woman recalled. “Everyone knew him. He couldn’t do anything bad in Far Rockaway.”

According to the Gun Violence Archive, the United States holds the No. 1 ranking for civilian firearm ownership, with 120.5 firearms owned per 100 persons.

US President Joe Biden confessed in July that a flood of guns had transformed public places in America into “killing fields.”

“The past many years, across our schools, places of worship, workplaces, stores, music festivals, nightclubs, and so many other everyday places, they have turned into killing fields.”

In this regard, seven out of ten Americans say that new legislation reducing gun violence should be prioritized over protecting gun rights.

Almost three out of ten Americans believe protecting the right to own a wide variety of guns should be a higher priority than enacting new gun control laws.

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