Second suspect busted in D’aja killing on bus

By Juan Soto

A Brooklyn teenager was arrested in connection with the shooting death of 14-year-old D’aja Robinson, who was killed in South Jamaica while riding a Q6 bus in May 2013.

This was the second arrest made in a case that spurred reactions from throughout the city, police and the Queens district attorney said.

Two and a half weeks after the shooting, the first suspect, Kevin McClinton, was arrested in South Carolina.

Authorities said Shamel Capers, 16, the second suspect, surrendered to police July 30 and has been charged with second-degree murder, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon.

Richard Brown, the Queens district attorney, said the suspect was being held without bail and was due back in Queens Criminal Court Aug. 13. If convicted, Capers faces up to 15 years to life in prison.

D’aja was killed May 18, 2013, a little after boarding a Q6 bus after attending a friend’s Sweet 16 birthday party.

According to the criminal complaint, on the day of the crime Capers walked to the bus stop opposite 125-60 Sutphin Blvd., in South Jamaica, and allegedly fired several shots into the vehicle, aiming at another person.

A stray bullet pierced the bus window and hit D’aja in the head. She died a short time later at Jamaica Hospital, authorities said.

“By their alleged actions, these two defendants showed a wanton disregard for human life and now face up to life in prison,” Brown said.

After Capers fired the rounds, Brown said, Kevin McClinton, 22, allegedly took the gun from Capers and continued firing into the bus. Police recovered nine .40-caliber shell casings at the scene of the crime.

McClinton, who is being held without bail, is due back in court on Sept. 22.

D’aja boarded the bus and was returning home with several friends after attending a party on Rockaway Boulevard. She lived nearly a mile away from the place of the shooting.

An only child, she was a student at Campus Magnet High school, located in Cambria Heights.

Days after the killing, the 113th Precinct Community Council put out a $22,000 bounty on the suspects wanted for the murder of D’aja.

Then Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the 14-year-old girl was not the intended target of the shooting.

Then City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) and Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica) went to the scene of the crime for a vigil, alongside family members, including D’aja’s mother.

Weeks after D’aja Robinson was killed, Borough President Helen Marshall allocated $50,000 from her office to hold a gun buyback to honor the teen’s memory.

Reach reporter Juan Soto by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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