Here’s evidence of the frightening reality of subway violence.
A disturbing new video shows a wild melee on the A train in Far Rockaway last week during which a 15-year-old boy was allegedly shot to death by another teen.
The shaky 58-second video shows two groups of teens fighting on Oct. 14 and then a sudden burst of gunfire, followed by horrified onlookers yanking on Jayjon Burnett’s apparently lifeless body on the subway car floor.
The video does not explain how two people – Burnett and accused shooter Keyondre Russell – were injured with only one bullet fired.
Burnett’s death was one of nine homicides in the subway system this year, surpassing the previous high of eight in 2021.
The video begins with a boy, possibly Burnett, telling a girl wearing a two-piece red tracksuit, “I know who used to be your boyfriend.” All of that. All of that. “This is my girlfriend right here.”
“What happened?” a girl asks. Another girl joins in, asking, “Wait, what happened?” “What’s the word?”
According to a source close to Russell, the 18-year-old can be seen standing behind the girl in the tracksuit while wearing a face mask.
As the teens watch, that girl begins slugging another rider, with one yelling, “Take your f-king hat off! Take your f-king hat off.”
Another group of teens appears to get into a scuffle in the corner of the mostly empty car behind the brawling girl.
Then one of the boys raises his arm, and a gunshot is heard. Burnett, who was shot in the chest, stumbles forward and falls face down on the floor of the car, according to police.
Russell’s lawyer, who saw the video, said his client is in the corner, but he is sitting on a subway bench with other teens standing over him.
As the person filming appears to move away from the gunfire, the video footage becomes jumbled. “Why you got to do that?” a male voice can be heard asking. “JJ, get the f-k up!” yells a girl. “Get the f-k up!” he exclaimed to the mortally wounded Burnett.
Burnett, who is dressed in a black hooded sweatshirt and black and white sneakers, is dragged to the center of the car and lifted by the shoulders, revealing his lifeless face.
According to police, Burnett was helped off the train at the Mott Avenue/Far Rockaway subway station by a kind stranger.
Russell was arrested the following day by police. He was charged with murder and criminal weapon possession.
Russell had a gunshot wound to his thigh when he was apprehended, but the NYPD couldn’t say whether it was related to the subway shooting.
Russell’s attorney, Peter St. George Davis, maintains that his client was not armed and did not shoot Burnett. “My client is a victim — not only of being jumped, but of a gunshot,” he claimed in court, claiming that a bullet may have passed through Russell’s leg and struck Burnett.
Russell was treated and released from St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway, according to Davis.
A prosecutor, however, called the killing “a gang-related incident,” claiming Russell was identified in two lineups and “multiple identification procedures.” He was imprisoned without bail.
The teens lived about a mile apart in Far Rockaway, but it’s unclear whether they knew each other.
Burnett was described as a straight-A student by his father. His mother stated on a GoFundMe page that Thursday would have been his 16th birthday and that they would say their final goodbyes on Friday.
According to his lawyer, Russell dropped out of school after the 10th grade and lived with his mother and siblings.
“He was your average middle-school student, not very aggressive, not very confrontational,” a staffer at MS 53 said.
“At a bare minimum, we in New York City have a right to use our subways and have the ability to get home safely to our families,” Queens DA Melinda Katz said in a statement.