The suspect in the May 18 shooting death of 14-year-old D’aja Robinson is on his way back to New York City after being arrested in South Carolina Tuesday morning on a fugitive warrant.
Thestate.com, a news website in South Carolina, reported on Tuesday afternoon that Kevin McClinton, 21, was arrested at about 6:30 a.m. in Lexington County, SC, near the state capital of Columbia, by a team that included U.S. Marshals and officers from the NYPD.
The website reported that McClinton waived an extradition hearing and was in the process of being transferred back to New York on a charges including second-degree murder.
An NYPD spokesman had confirmed late Tuesday morning that a suspect believed to be McClinton had been arrested and was in custody in the Palmetto State.
Published reports claim that the NYPD had received multiple anonymous tips at its Crimestoppers hotline leading law enforcement to South Carolina.
Crimestoppers, the Police Department and the City of New York have combined to offer a $22,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Robinson’s killer.
Officials with the U.S. Marshals Service could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.
Robinson was shot to death on Sutphin Boulevard near Baisley Pond Park in South Jamaica, just a few blocks from her home. She had just left a sweet 16 party and was headed to another function with a friend when a man sprayed the Q6 city bus she had boarded with bullets from the sidewalk.
D’aja, finishing up her freshman year in high school, was struck in the head by one bullet.
City EMS personnel responded and rushed her to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.
Police recovered nine shell casings at the site.
Law enforcement sources believe the incident may be gang-related, and CBS Channel 2 News is quoting NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly as saying that D’aja was not the gunman’s intended target.
Multiple news organizations have quoted police sources as saying that McClinton is associated with the Snow gang, while the intended target of the shooting was a girl associated with a gang called EBK.
Deputy Inspector Miltiadis Marmara, commanding officer of the NYPD’s 113th Precinct, said both groups are the subject of regular police attention, during recent meetings of the precinct’s Community Council.
NYPD Chief of Department Philip Banks III spoke to the public of D’aja’s murder and the investigation in the days following her death.
One reported motive for the shooting is that the intended victim had made negative comments about the Snow gang.
CBS also is quoting police sources as saying they do not believe Robinson herself was involved in gang activity.
Speaking Monday night following a forum featuring candidates for the City Council’s 27th District, a community leader said friends of D’aja’s family were planning a march in her memory in the near future.