Mother says 14-year-old didn’t deserve to die

Shadia Sands, (c.) the mother of D'aja Robinson, is comforted by cousin Bowlin (l.). Photo by Christina Santucci
TimesLedger Newspapers
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

Days after young D’aja Robinson was gunned down as she sat on an idling city bus in South Jamaica, the 14-year-old’s mother said she could not come to terms with the way her daughter was killed.

“Me, as a mom, I can’t accept the fact that she’s been shot in the head, you know? That’s something that she did not deserve,” Shadia Sands said as she rested on a bench in Baisley Pond Park, not far from where her daughter was killed by an unknown shooter Saturday night.

“We’re not at war out here,” she added. “I don’t know why we have these two gangs running around here like this, and these little kids are not tough without a gun, so they need to just sit down.”

Sands said she dropped her only child off at a Sweet 16 party Saturday afternoon and, because of the rain, the teenager decided to ride the Q6 bus back home instead of walking the six blocks to her house.

According to the police, an unknown gunman opened fire on the bus around 8:30 p.m. as it sat idling near the intersection of Rockaway and Sutphin boulevards, fatally striking Robinson in the head before fleeing into the park. No one else on the bus was hurt.

Sands said she got a call and rushed to the scene.

“I seen my daughter coming out of the bus on the stretcher, not moving,” Sands said. “I knew for a fact that my child was gone right then and there.”

A number of elected officials gathered in the park Tuesday to condemn the shooting and call on community members to come forward with any information they may have about the shooter.

“She didn’t suffer,” City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) told Sands as she offered her condolences.

The 113th Precinct’s community affairs office said there is a $22,000 reward for anyone who can come forward with information leading to the arrest and indictment of the suspect, who was described as a man between the ages of 18 and 25 wearing a black sweater.

“This incident is heinous. It’s a senseless act of violence. But just to sum up the totality of it, it is cowardly,” Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica) said. “This community, South Jamaica, is standing unified behind this family. We are unified in the message calling for the cowards who committed this senseless act of violence to come forward, and if anybody in the community has any information, we are asking that you come forward also.”

Pastor Calvin Rice, of New Jerusalem Baptist Church, said the entire community was backing D’aja’s relatives and members could show their support by overcoming the “No Snitch” culture.

“I know there’s something in this street that’s called ‘snitches get stitches,’ but let me tell you something, silence gets violence,” he said.

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4574.

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

Reader Feedback

Sad from Brooklyn says:
Just too sad
April 4, 2014, 1:07 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

CNG: Community Newspaper Group