15-Year-Old Fugitive Accused of Fatally Shooting Teen Surrenders After 12 Days on the Run

By Zachary Stieber

A 15-year-old boy accused of shooting and killing an 18-year-old girl surrendered to police in New York on May 7 after nearly two weeks on the run.

The boy, who was identified as Jamir Thompson, was arraigned on second-degree murder charges, reported the Rockland/Westchester Journal News. He allegedly shot at and struck Marylin Cotto Montanez on April 25—a junior at Lincoln High School in Yonkers, just outside New York City.

Authorities said that the boy allegedly stole a gold chain from someone and was chased. At some point, he drew a gun and fired at least one shot. A bullet fired from the boy’s weapon hit Cotto Montanez as she was walking near her house with her 9-year-old sister.

Thompson was arraigned on Tuesday as relatives of both the defendant and the victim were in the Westchester County Court courtroom in White Plains.

Judge Arlene Gordon-Oliver ordered Thompson held without bail on the advice of prosecutors, who said he was a flight risk. “This is a very serious charge,” she said.

Thompson was an eighth-grader at the Linden Hill School in Hawthorne, police said. Thompson started attending classes there about five months ago and has only attended classes sporadically, Mark Silverstein, superintendent of the Hawthorne Cedar Knolls school district, told the Journal News.

Prosecutors said that the boy, a gang member, fled the city with the help of other gang members, and was in North Carolina with his mother as recently as May 3, according to NBC 4.

He has a juvenile record for a number of crimes, including robbery, weapons possession, and assault.

Marilyn Cotto Montanez in a file photo. (In Memory of Marilyn Cotto Montanez/GoFundMe)

“Our family is hurt, and whoever did this, we’re going to get justice for it,” Naraly Martinez, a friend of the victim, told WABC.

A young girl in the neighborhood claims to have been assaulted by the suspect, the broadcaster reported and neighbors said one woman moved away because she was afraid of the suspect’s family.

“Give a 15-year-old a gun, and it’s not going to end well,” Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said. “It didn’t in this case, and it won’t in any case.”

A family friend started a GoFundMe fundraiser for Montanez’s sister.

“While walking with our 9-year-old sister to the store to get the finishing pieces to our younger sisters project, our innocent baby Marilyn was struck in the head during an escalated altercation between 3 men. Before collapsing she yelled at our 9-year-old sister to run but in a panic she froze. She only ran once she saw her sister collapse. She succumb[ed] to her wound and passed away,” Elizabeth Zambrana wrote.

“We’re asking for anything you can contribute toward her funeral and burial arrangements so she can get the proper send away she deserve[d]. Anything left over will go toward seeking psychological help for our 9-year-old who witness the traumatic ordeal.”