'I’m not the murderer': Keyondre Russell denies fatally shooting Jayjon Burnett, 15, on NYC subway
Warning: This article contains graphic content that could be traumatic for some readers. Discretion is advised
QUEENS, NEW YORK: Keyondre Russell, 18, has been taken into custody, as per the police, according to NBC New York. With the help of MTA surveillance camera footage and with assistance from witnesses, the arrest was made. Russel has been arrested in connection with the killing of Jayjon Burnett, 15, who has been shot dead after an altercation broke out between two groups of youths on an MTA subway train in New York City. The victim who hailed from Queens was allegedly killed around 3.45 am local time on a southbound train around the Rockaway stop at Matt Avenue.
Russell hails from Queens too and was booked for murder and criminal weapons possession on October 15. In an interview from jail, the 18-year-old suspect complained that he is "not the murderer" in the incident that was caught on camera, according to the New York Post. Russell was not charged with murder by a grand jury in October. Instead, he was charged with menacing, tampering with evidence, and weapons possession.
Judge Bruna DiBiase ordered bail at either $750,000 in cash or a $2 million bond on Thursday. "The court doesn’t take it lightly that a young man’s life was lost in the incident," according to DiBiase. In a video interview with The Post on October 30, Russell said, "I didn’t commit no crime, and I don’t belong here."
Although a prosecution described the shooting as a "gang-related incident," Russell insisted that he is not a member of a gang and insisted that he neither brought nor fired the gun that killed Burnett, 15. He said, "I didn’t have no gun on me and I’m not the murderer."
Russell claimed that throughout the chaos on the train, he did not identify Burnett or any other passengers. He was riding the southbound subway with his girlfriend of three months, whom he had "picked up" from her high school. Even though he cannot recall what Burnett said or who Burnett is, he insisted that Burnett started the dispute with him, New York Post reported. "He came to me and my girl … And he was talking to me thinking I was somebody and I was like ‘I don’t know what you talking about," he said.
Keturah Miller, Russell's mother, claimed that after Burnett's murder, individuals who she claimed were connected to Burnett threatened her family. She said, "When everybody started saying all of this malicious stuff, threatening my family and everything, saying my son is a killer, a monster, a murderer — I know in my heart, that he’s not that, and I know he did not do that."
A distressing video from the fight between two groups that resulted in the shooting of Burnett in the MTA subway train has surfaced online. The 58-second video shows two groups of teens fighting on the subway car floor on October 14, 2022, before a burst of gunfire horrified the onlookers. The incident left a 15-year-old succumbing to a bullet wound to the chest, and a day later, alleged suspect Keyondre Russell was arrested.