The New York City Police Department (NYPD) is offering a $10,000 reward for any information regarding the tragic killing of a 16-year-old girl who was shot in the head outside an elementary school playground.
On May 10, at approximately 8:30 p.m., Claudia Naa Oyo Quaatey was sitting in an SUV near Locust Manor Park, close to P.S. 015 The Jackie Robinson School in St. Albans, Queens, when she was fatally shot.
The NYPD has reported that an unknown assailant discharged a gun, causing Claudia’s death. She was caught in the crossfire between two groups engaged in a shooting incident. As of now, no arrests have been made.
A GoFundMe page has been set up by Benita Bortey to assist with funeral expenses. Bortey wrote, “Claudia was in the wrong place at the wrong time. She suffered a severe brain injury and was placed on life support. Despite the prayers and hopes of her loved ones, Claudia tragically succumbed to her injury. The family is now preparing to lay Claudia to rest and remains determined in their pursuit of justice for her.”
The NYPD announced on Tuesday that CrimeStoppers is offering a $3,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and indictment of the unidentified perpetrator responsible for Claudia’s death. Additionally, the NYPD is providing an additional $6,500 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the individual involved.
Police have released a video capturing three males wearing face masks and hoodies in the vicinity, whom they believe are connected to the shooting. Investigators allege that these three suspects were involved in a gang-related dispute, the New York Post reports.
Bortey, Claudia’s relative, expressed her shock and disbelief, stating, “We’ve never known her to be involved in anything like this, so this is mind-boggling. We’re looking to the NYPD for answers.”
Claudia’s father, Albert Quaatey, 65, mentioned that he was uneasy about Claudia going out at night, but she was heading to a friend’s house to have her hair braided. He lamented the rising incidents of violence affecting young people, saying, “They always called me old-school, but there are these kinds of problems. Too many younger people are being killed. I tried, but how much can you do?”
According to the GoFundMe page, Claudia was a sophomore at Queens High School of Teaching. She enjoyed running track, dancing, styling hair, and spending time with her loved ones. Claudia aspired to be a nurse and was known for her compassion towards others.
Claudia’s funeral took place on June 2. Bortey spoke about her niece, emphasizing Claudia’s love for life and people. She urged parents to hold their children close, express love, and discuss the issue of gun violence. Bortey called on the community to come forward with any information, stating, “If you saw something, say something. Don’t be afraid. This could easily be your family member.”
Mayor Eric Adams attended Claudia’s funeral and assured her family of his commitment to pursuing justice for her senseless killing.