Mother of slain teen says violent youth are ‘not tough without a gun’

TimesLedger Newspapers
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

Photo gallery

Shadia Sands, (c.) the mother of slain teen D'aja Robinson, is comforted by Councilwoman Letitia (l.) and Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Photo by Christina Santucci
Shadia Sands (l.), D'aja Robinson's mother, hugs her own mother, Rini Sands. Photo by Christina Santucci
Rini Sands, D'aja Robinson's grandmother, kisses a photo of D'aja at a memorial to the teen, as Willie Bolden, the girl's grandfather, stands by her side. Photo by Christina Santucci
The eyes of Laura Robinson, D'aja Robinson's grandmother, well up with tears as she is introduced to elected officials. Photo by Christina Santucci
Shadia Sands, (c.) the mother of D'aja Robinson, speaks about the shooting death of her daughter on the Q6 bus as she is comforted by cousin Bowlin (l.) and her mother RIni Sands. Councilman Ruben Wills (r.) looks on. Photo by Christina Santucci

The grief-stricken mother of a 14-year-old girl who was shot dead as she sat on a city bus in South Jamaica over the weekend had some stern words Tuesday for her daughter’s killer.

“We’re not at war out here. 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,” Shadia Sands said as she sat on a bench in Baisley Pond Park, not far from where D’aja Robinson was gunned down by an unknown shooter Saturday night.

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 the 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.

Updated 5:47 pm, May 21, 2013
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

Reader feedback

MY heart goes out to the parents,grandparents and the entire family of DAJA'S family...MY son was MURDERED on 3/2/13 in a NYCHA. My son was MURDERED one month after his 19TH birthday...From mother to mother I feel ur pain,I pray for ur strength...
May 22, 2013, 8:14 am
My heart goes out to the parents,grandparents and the entire family of DAJA'S family...My son was shot and MURDERED on 3/2/12 on a NYCHA grounds one month after my son's 19TH birthday.From mother to mother I feel your pain and I'm praying for your strength...
May 22, 2013, 8:22 am
the heart of a human from north carolina says:
I know there are no amount of words that can change any of the events that have happened but I just want you to know that I am here praying for your strength for I know those that mourn shall be comforted although this may never get easy and the pain may never go away everything has a purpose in Gods plan and trust nothing happens unless god allows it and believe me when I say this god will not put more on you than you can bear although we don't understand why things happen god does and he has you in his hands and he is not going to leave you know that weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning know that from the bottom of my heart I send my sincerest condolences and know I am continuously lifting you up in prayer I know it is going to be hard to keep going but you have to do it for your precious baby pray and call out to god tell him exactly how you feel and know that it does not have to be a fancy prayer or anything believe that he hears you! for the prayers of the righteous availed much. I love you sweetheart and I am standing with you and in the gap for you. I know god will come through on your behalf. keep the faith
May 24, 2013, 3:24 am
none of your biz from south jamaica says:
I believe she was targeted. People know whats going on but refuse to talk. Those backing up Daja Robinson and her family are only hypocrites because they know. I dont think NYPD cares because why are you allowing this to continue? Death after death. Everyone wants to make a quick buck and everyone wants to make a name for themselves. You have people like myself who wanted to give NYPD information and was asked to leave. So you tell me Miss Quinn how will this end if NYPD dont want to deal with the reality of these crimes? There is a connection somehow with the death of Daja Robinson and Darryl Adams who was murdered in the South Jamaica Houses last year and whos death was caught on video surveilance. If you want people to come forward, stop turning them away. FBI needs to get involved and find out whats going on. Its not fare that people have to live in fear. Shots are fired frequently from the South Jamaica Houses but NYPD has no clue! Its sad because innocent people have to try and sleep at night while these little terrors and demons shoot bullets out the windows. The adults in the community are worse than the youth because they are encouraging and supplying these youths with the ammunition to kill. The adults who even look like grannys sit around all day and night as look outs. They stalk people. Thats why I left everything behind and took my kids out of there. There was no peace in my life. My son was attacked and robbed by a group of them. It angers me to know that these people think they own those projects and they are very territorial. If there are surveillance cameras everywhere in South Jamaica Houses and Im sure NYPD sees whats going on, how is it that NYPD yet do nothing? Miss Quinn you need to ask NYPD that question. I believe civil and human rights are being violated and no one cares to do anything about it. You continue to allow these parasites to roam around freely killing and robbing people. The youth of those projects should be working or going to school. Why are they being allowed to stalk people and hang around all day and night being the look outs for others who are committing crimes in public view? Unreal!!
July 16, 2013, 11:36 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