FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 1, 2016
Teen Gunman Convicted of Murder for Shooting Innocent Man On Crowded Bus in Bedford-Stuyvesant During Rush Hour
Victim Shot in Head and Killed by Gang Member
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that a Bedford-Stuyvesant teenager has been convicted of second-degree murder for pulling out a .357 Magnum revolver on a crowded city bus during rush hour and shooting an innocent 39-year-old man in the back of the head, killing him. The defendant opened fire on three rival gang members who were also on the bus.
District Attorney Thompson said, “Angel Rojas was an innocent and hardworking man who came to our country to pursue the American Dream. All of that was tragically and brutally taken away from him in an instant by a teenager caught up in the gang culture and the random and senseless gun violence that it spawns. Hopefully, this conviction will bring his shattered family some solace.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Kahton Anderson, 15, of 660 Gates Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant. The defendant was today convicted of one count of second-degree murder, one count of second-degree attempted murder, one count of first-degree attempted assault, one count of first-degree reckless endangerment and one count of first-degree criminal use of a firearm following a jury trial before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Dineen Riviezzo. The judge set sentencing for February 18, 2016, at which time the defendant, as a juvenile offender, faces up to 15 years to life in prison.
The District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, on the afternoon of March 20, 2014, Anderson – a Stack Money Goons gang member – was on a southbound B15 bus when three members of the rival Twan Family gang boarded. Anderson, who was 14-years-old at the time, pulled out a .357 revolver from his backpack and opened fire.
Angel Rojas, 39, who was married and the father of an 8-year-old daughter and a 12-year-old son, was sitting in a forward facing seat on the bus, talking on a cell phone. He was struck in the back of the head. After shooting Mr. Rojas, the defendant ran off the bus after his rivals and continued to shoot, emptying his gun. Mr. Rojas was pronounced dead shortly thereafter at Woodhull Hospital.
Anderson was convicted of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and first-degree reckless endangerment at an earlier trial last year and is awaiting sentencing on that conviction.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Nicole Chavis, Chief of the District Attorney’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau and Assistant District Attorney Iris Das, of the Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau, under the supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney William E. Schaeffer, Chief of the District Attorney’s Investigations Division.