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Teen’s death spurs SE Qns gun buyback
By Rich Bockmann

Borough President Helen Marshall is allocating up to $50,000 from her office’s discretionary budget for a gun buyback to honor the memory of the 14-year-old girl who was shot and killed while riding a city bus in South Jamaica last month.

At $200 for each handgun or assault rifle turned in, that is enough money to take 250 deadly firearms off the streets.

“We estimate the total cost will be between $30,000 and $50,000,” Marshall said. “We’d be happy to be closer to $50,000 and buy back as many guns as possible.”

The no-questions-asked buyback will be held June 29 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the New Jerusalem Baptist Church of Jamaica, at 122-05 Smith St., just a few blocks away from where D’aja Robinson was killed the night of May 18.

D’aja and a friend were riding back from a Sweet 16 party when a shooter fired on the Q6 bus near the corner of Baisley and Rockaway boulevards, fatally striking her in the head.

Last week, the NYPD and the U.S. Marshals Service arrested Rosedale resident Kevin McClinton, 21, in South Carolina and brought him back to Queens, where he was arraigned on murder charges in the shooting.

The gun buyback will offer $200 bank cards to anyone turning in a handgun or assault rifle and $20 cards for those surrendering rifles, shotguns, air pistols or air rifles.

The haul from the BP’s last gun buyback was lower than had been hoped for.

About 55 firearms were turned in last June at St. Benedict of the Moor Church in South Jamaica, including one rifle, 19 semi-automatic handguns and 35 revolvers.

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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