Bronx man sentenced for shooting into an MTA bus in Jamaica, wounding two riders: DA

A Bronx man is sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a shot that struck an MTA bus in Jamaica, wounding two riders in 2021. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)

A Bronx man was sentenced to two decades behind bars for firing a stray shot that pierced the windshield of an MTA bus in Jamaica, wounding two passengers in 2021, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced on April 21.

Melvin Adams, 45, of Barnes Avenue, was convicted by a jury in March of attempted murder in the second degree, assault in the first and second degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the second and third degree, and reckless endangerment in the first degree.

According to the charges, on the morning of Aug. 5, 2021, Adams walked past a 25-year-old pedestrian whom he did not know on Jamaica Avenue near 148th Street in Downtown Jamaica. Believing the pedestrian had looked at him, Adams approached the pedestrian, pulled out an illegal .40 caliber pistol from his backpack and fired three shots at the back of the pedestrian victim. Adams missed his intended target, instead shooting through the windshield of an MTA Q8 bus stopped nearby.

One of the bullets crashed through the bus windshield, grazing a 66-year-old passenger and causing him physical injuries, according to the charges. A second passenger on the bus, a 20-year-old man, was struck by the same bullet in his arm, shattering his humorous bone and causing excruciating pain and serious physical injury, according to the charges.

EMS responded to the crime scene and rushed the two victims to Jamaica Hospital Center for treatment. The 66-year-old sustained a laceration to his shoulder and shards of glass were removed from his body. The 20-year-old required reconstructive orthopedic surgery to remove bullet fragments and repair his arm with a 10-inch metal plate and screws.

A police officer from the 103rd Precinct in Jamaica witnessed the shooting and reported the incident. Adams was arrested a block from the scene within minutes of the shooting. He was in possession of a backpack containing the loaded .40 caliber Smith & Wesson handgun used in the shooting, according to the charges. The handgun was loaded with one round in the chamber and 11 rounds of ammunition in an unlawful high-capacity magazine. A second illegal high-capacity magazine with an additional 15 rounds of ammunition was also recovered from the backpack.

“A dangerous man is now off our streets and will serve a long prison sentence for his reckless and illegal conduct,” Katz said.

Queens Supreme Court Justice Gary Miret sentenced Adams to 20 years imprisonment.