Updated October 15 | 8:00pm EST
Jayjon Burnett, a 15-year-old boy, was shot around 4 pm on Friday, October 14th while on the subway in Queens. According to the NYPost, Burnett was riding the southbound A train in Far Rockaway when an argument broke out between two groups of boys. The verbal altercation escalated and resulted in the shooting of Burnett who was shot in the chest.
Burnett was taken off the train by a helpful stranger and taken to Cohen Children’s Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. On Saturday, October 15th, police arrested Keyondre Russell for the murder of Burnett and the possession of a weapon.
Upon receiving the call from the police that her son’s killer had been arrested, Christine Alvarez said, “I feel like justice is served.”
Jeff Burnett, Jayjon Burnett’s father, said, “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. He wasn’t no bad kid, he wasn’t having no guns, nothing like that.”
He continued, “I am mad. I can’t bring my son back, you know. It always happens to the good kids so that’s why I was so scared…Right now it’s hard, its hard you know. It’s very, very hard right now.”
A neighbor who knew Burnett said, “We all knew him. The child was a good kid. I’m so shocked and hurt for his mother and father … he was a good kid – so respectful and everybody loved him that’s why everybody in building is so torn up about it.”
The New York City subway has become a site of various recurring major crimes. Several users of the subway have fallen victim to crime, causing fear and reluctance to use public transportation after an extreme dropoff in ridership due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Transit Chief Jason Wilcox added that there were no police officers present on the train at the moment the shooting took place. This is despite Mayor Eric Adams’ plan to have more than 1,000 extra police officers present on the subway every day. After ten months of the program’s implementation, the subway still has a crime problem. Major crimes have increased by 42% when contrasted with the same period last year. According to the NYPD and MTA, nine murders have occurred on the subway this year.