Teen Gets 34 Years for Fatally Shooting Boy
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A Brooklyn Park teenager is sentenced to more than 34 years in prison for fatally shooting a 13-year-old boy in a case of mistaken identity.
Seventeen-year-old Derrick Catchings admitted firing three shots at Ray’Jon Gomez, who was riding on the back of a friend’s bike in August 2011. Catchings says he then handed the gun to a friend, Donquarius Copeland, who fired four more shots. Copeland was also sentenced to more than 34 years in prison.
Reports say authorities say Catchings, Copeland and a third man, Kemen Taylor, were trying to avenge the shooting of Taylor’s younger brother by rival gang members. They mistook the victim as a member of that rival gang. The boy steering the bike was also hit by gunfire, but survived.
Taylor is serving a life sentence for the crime.