Latino father randomly shot in the head on public bus

In the early evening hours on Thursday, March 20, Anthony Rojas, a married father of two, was shot and killed while riding the B15 bus in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, New York. The 39-year-old was shot in the back of the head when an argument erupted between a group of teenagers.

Considering how many innocent lives are needlessly taken as a result of senseless gun violence, it's hard for me to fathom how anyone could argue against stricter, more aggressive gun control measures. 


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The gunman, a 14-year-old, was sitting on the back of the bus with some friends when a second group of teenagers boarded the bus and began approaching them. Presumably responding to an ongoing feud, the teen opened fire on the bus and, in the process, accidentally shot Rojas. The gun-toting teen is currently in police custody. Investigators are examining surveillance footage before officially pressing charges.  It remains unclear how the 14-year-old had gained access to the revolver he used at the scene.

Rojas leaves behind his wife, 41-year-old Maria Lopez, and two children: a 12-year-old son, Saury, and 8-year-old daughter, April. The family had moved from the Dominican Republic to the United States four years ago in hopes of securing a better future but, tragically, their American dream was crushed due to a hotheaded teenager's violent antics.  

The mere fact that a teenager was walking around with a gun is harrowing. The fact that he felt comfortable unloading the weapon on a crowded bus — and that he had every intention of wounding and potentially killing his target — is even more disturbing. Is this what we're teaching our children: that petty arguments should be resolved with bullets? And how is anyone supposed to feel safe when, at any point in time, they too could be caught in the crossfire of a sanguine adolescent feud? If we want to prevent tragedies like this one from becoming commonplace, we need to come together as a nation, putting aside party politics, and reassess our gun laws.