“They came at me on the bus, and I was scared. Yo am I gonna do life for this? It’s my brother’s gun. It’s war out here, so n***** gotta carry guns. Oh man I’m f***** man, that n**** Jayquan man. Every time I’m with this n****,” Kahton Anderson wrote in a statement.
Kahton Anderson, who is a member of the Stack Money Goons gang, was also unaware that he killedAngel Rojas, a 39-year-old who was headed home aboard the B15 bus when he was hit by the bullet.
“Who did I hit?” Kahton asked a cop after his March murder arrest. “Was it a rival or an innocent man?”
Sadly, Kahton’s comments highlight the dangerous reality teenagers like him face everyday. Just last week, the NYPD announced that teen gangs, like the one Kahton’s affiliated with, are responsible for 40 percent of New York City shootings.
With names like Very Crispy Gangsters, True Money Gang and Cash Bama Bullies, the 12 through 20-year-olds are said to engage in violent and sometimes deadly altercations that usually start from a diss on the street, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
“It’s like belonging to an evil fraternity,” said Inspector Kevin Catalina, commander of the New York Police Department’s gang division. “A lot of it is driven by nothing: A dispute over a girl or a wrong look or a perceived slight.”
“When you ask young adults, ‘Why? Why did you shoot that young man?’ Probably 80 percent of the time the answer is: He disrespected me,” said Kai Smith, an ex-con-turned-businessman who runs a gang-diversion program in city high schools.
For Kahton, that rival can mean a lifetime in jail, if convicted. The teen has been charged with second-degree murder, criminal use of a firearm, and criminal possession of a weapon.
Police say he will be tried as an adult.