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Police arrested a second teenager Friday who is accused of being involved in the shooting death of an innocent 13-year-old Campus Magnet High School student last week, the Queens district attorney said.
Gregory Calas, 18, of 228th Street in St. Albans was waiting arraignment Friday afternoon on second-degree murder, assault, criminal possession of a weapon and tampering with physical evidence charges in the death of Kevin Miller, the DA said.
Calas and his friend, Nnonso Ekwegbalu, 16, both of whom are reputed Crips members, each fired shots during a physical argument with a rival gang the Bloods at the corner of Springfield and Linden Boulevards, last Friday, according to DA Richard Brown. The stray bullets missed the intended targets and struck Miller in the headand wounded another nearby teen boy in the leg, according to the DA.
“This case is another example of the mindless gun-related violence and street gang mentality that turns our streets into battlefields and too often takes innocent lives and recklessly endangers public safety,” Brown said in a statement.
The arrest came on the day when hundreds of Kevin Miller’s friends and family gathered at New Jerusalem Baptist Church for the boy’s funeral. Miller, who was not involved with any gang activity, according to the DA, was across the streetfrom the accused teens and was not part of the after-school argument.
During the service, Miller’s pastor Dr. Calvin Rice, urged the community to stand up and denounce youth violence.
“Everybody is involved now,” he told the mourners,who included Kevin’s friends and teachers from Campus Magnet High School. “Don’t sacrifice his name in vain.”
The unidentified teen who was wounded in the leg was not a gang member and was recuperating from his injuries, the DA said.
Ekwegbalu, who lives on 183rd Street in Springfield Gardens, was arrested Sunday and arraigned the next day on the same charges as Calas. He is currently being held without bail, Brown said.
It was not known how the teens were able to acquire the guns, butinvestigators were still looking for the weapons, according to a police source. The boys reportedly ditched their weapons in a lake, the source said.
The members of the Bloods gang who are believed to have argued with Calas and Ekwegbalu have not been identified or charged, but the DA said they were not armed. If convicted, both Calas and Ekwegbalu face up to 25 years to life in prison, according to Brown.
“The result of such gunplay is that a 13-year-old boy, who was taken far before his time, is being buried today and his family must struggle with his loss, and a second innocent teenager is recovering from a gunshot wound to his leg,” he said.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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