Rock Hill girl, 14, killed in Chester Co. drive-by shooting
A 14-year-old Rock Hill girl was killed Sunday night in what law enforcement officials are describing as gang retaliation, drive-by shooting.
The girl was not the intended target, police said.
Jada Darayona Jones died from her injuries after she was shot once in the shoulder, said Alex Underwood, Chester County Sheriff. Jones was visiting friends at the Chester home where she was shot, police said.
Chester County deputies have charged two people in the crime.
Rapheal Sidique Carter, 21, is charged with shooting Jones, Underwood said. Authorities say Carter is a documented member of the Roundtree Circle Gang.
Jones was in a carport outside 534 Pinckney Street when a car that police say carried Carter and Hezekiah Roymel Tinsley pulled up. At least six shots were fired, hitting Jones and the house, police said.
Carter is charged with murder, discharging a weapon into a building, and possession of a weapon during a violent crime. Tinsley, 19, is charged with accessory to murder after the crime, arrest warrants show.
Police arrested both men early Monday in rural Chester County. Officers also found the car believed to be used by Carter and Tinsley, and a 9mm handgun, Underwood said.
"This is all gang activity," Underwood said Monday afternoon. "We drove the gangs out of Chester County before and now they are back. And they took the life of this girl."
Underwood was blunt about the crime: "A beef between gangs killed her," Underwood said.
Underwood said at a news conference Monday afternoon in Chester that a young man who lives at the home could have been the target. The young man had been shot at twice in the past month in ongoing disputes. Underwood said the young man had refused to help police before Sunday's shooting.
"This 'no snitching' thing has to go out the window," Underwood said. "This little girl is gone."
Underwood said gangs and shootouts will not be tolerated.
"We cannot have shootouts in the streets of Chester County, Underwood said. "We won't have it.""
Underwood said the ongoing dispute is between the Roundtree Circle Gang and the 10-4 gang. After the 2014 murder of Chester City Council member Odell Williams in a gang-related incident, Underwood targeted gangs for eradication. Several gang members went to prison. Now there are new members, and others have been released from prison, Underwood said.
"I am worried that the gangs are back," Underwood said. "I need manpower to make the streets safe for people."
Chester County has about 55 deputies for a population of around 32,000 people. Four deputies were on patrol Sunday night at the time of the shooting, Underwood said. All county detectives, gang unit members and command staff responded to the shooting, Underwood said.
"We have got to have the manpower, the resources, to fight these gangs," Underwood said. "Anyone who says there aren't gangs in Chester County should know that a girl just 14 years old is dead."
The house where Jones was shot had at least two bullet holes — one in the front wall and the other in the front picture window, according to residents and police.
Jones was set to celebrate her 15th birthday next week and was a student at Rock Hill schools. In the school year that just ended, Jones attended Rawlinson Road Middle School and Raven Academy, the Rock Hill school district's flexible learning center.
Mychal Frost, spokesman for Rock Hill schools, said in a statement Monday that "thoughts and prayers are extended to Jones' family.