NEW YORK — A teenage suspect was arrested early Saturday for killing a 16-year-old girl with a stray bullet when he opened fire outside a Bronx high school in an apparent gang dispute, police said Saturday.
Jerimiah Ryan, 17, faces murder, attempted murder and weapons possession charges for the Friday afternoon slaying of Angellyh Yambo, said NYPD Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell outside the 40th Precinct station house. Two other teens were wounded when Ryan allegedly sprayed a half-dozen bullets from a half-block away outside University Heights High School’s South Bronx Campus.
“While Angellyh’s loved ones are devastated, we can pray that this arrest brings them some sense of solace,” said Sewell. “As I said yesterday, (she) had a bright future. She was doing everything right.”
The arrest came as a solemn memorial grew outside the high school where the three students were shot, while grief-stricken family and friends remembered the murdered teen as an “amazing, kind young lady” with a “beautiful heart.”
“That’s our niece, and right now I can’t even speak,” the slain girl’s uncle told the Daily News on Saturday. “Everybody is just crying. It’s sad, it’s very sad. It has to stop. These guns have to come off the street.”
Ryan was allegedly embroiled in a shouting match with a group on St. Ann’s Avenue, with the teen flashing gang signs and taunting the other youths before pulling a gun and blasting away. None of the three wounded teens were his intended targets, police said.
While the suspect bolted from the scene, detectives conducted an extensive canvas of the area and uncovered video of the teen running inside his nearby home, the source said. Before his Saturday arrest, the youth was seen throwing a black plastic bag from a window — with cops locating a “ghost gun” hidden inside, the source added.
He was taken into custody after police questioned him with his mother present, the source said. Bronx Chief of Detectives Timothy McCormack said Ryan had very little contact with the criminal justice system before he was taken into custody.
“We have two families that are completely destroyed right now, the victim’s family and shooter’s family, a hardworking woman raising a child having zero police contact at all,” said McCormack. “He goes from smoking marijuana to killing somebody.”
Yambo and the two other victims were standing outside the Bronx school’s campus Friday when struck by the bullets fired in a dispute between “brazen criminals,” according to Sewell. Angellyh, shot in the chest, died after EMS rushed her to Lincoln Hospital.
The wounded teens, another 16-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy, were expected to survive.
“(She) was the most purist person you would’ve loved to know or have her be a part of your life,” family friend Chantal Lorenzo wrote on a GoFundMe page seeking donations for Angellyh Yambo’s funeral expenses. “She brought so much joy, love, laughter and light to those that she encountered, especially her mother.”
A superintendent at a nearby building heard the gunfire and ran downstairs, where he spotted the wounded teens.
“The kids were coming from South Bronx High School,” said the superintendent, who asked not to be named. “The girl dropped by a red car and was dead. The other girl dropped further up the block. The other boy was hit, but he wasn’t bad.”
The man watched helplessly as the dying girl’s mother arrived at the scene.
“The way she was screaming broke my heart,” he said, fighting back tears. “The first thing you think of is your own kids and you start bawling. It’s crazy out here.”
Yambo attended University Prep High School, a charter school a block away, School Safety sources said. The other victims attend Mott Haven Village Prep High School, one of several schools in the South Bronx Educational Campus around the corner from the shooting, according to the sources.