A New York City man was arrested and charged with murder the same day his alleged shooting victim would have turned 11 years old, police said.
Jovan Young, 29, was taken into custody and charged on June 8 with the murder of fifth-grader Justin Wallace, who was killed as he was leaving his aunt’s home in Rockaway, Queens.
Around 9:30 p.m. June 5, Young arrived in the area in an SUV and security cameras at the house allegedly captured footage showing the suspect approach the front door, shoot at least eight times through a railing, and then run off, The New York Times reported.
One bullet struck Wallace in the stomach and he was later pronounced dead at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital.
After the shooting, the young victim’s mother, Aretha Douglas Wallace, said her son was “my rock” and “my pride, my joy.”
“I was going to make calls to the children for the party,” she said of celebrating the child's birthday. “Justin was going to give me a list, and I was going to call everyone.”
Young also faces weapons possession charges and an attempted murder charge for shooting the young victim’s cousin, Kyle Forrester, 29, in the shoulder during the incident, law enforcement officials said.
Investigators are still trying to determine a motive for the shooting.