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Bronx man convicted of firing stray shot that wounded two bus riders in Jamaica in 2021: DA

Mar. 27, 2023 By Bill Parry

A Bronx man was found guilty of attempted murder after firing a shot that injured two MTA bus riders in Jamaica in 2021, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced Monday, March 27.

Melvin Adams, 45, of Barnes Avenue, was convicted by a jury in Queens Supreme Court of attempted murder in the second degree, assault, criminal possession of a weapon and reckless endangerment.

According to the charges, on the morning of Aug. 5, 2021, Adams walked past a 25-year-old pedestrian whom he did not know on Jamaica Avenue near 148th Street in Downtown Jamaica. Believing the pedestrian had looked at him, Adams approached the pedestrian, pulled out an illegal .40 caliber pistol from his backpack and fired three shots at the back of the pedestrian victim. Adams missed his intended target, instead shooting through the windshield of an MTA Q8 bus that was stopped nearby.

A bullet pierced the bus windshield, grazing a 66-year-old passenger, causing him physical injuries. A second passenger on the bus, a 20-year-old man, was struck by the same bullet in his arm, shattering his humorous bone, causing excruciating pain and serious physical injury, according to the charges.

EMS responded to the crime scene and rushed the two victims to Jamaica Hospital Center for treatment. The 66-year-old sustained a laceration to his shoulder and shards of glass were removed from his body. The 20-year-old required reconstructive orthopedic surgery to remove bullet fragments and repair his arm with a 10-inch metal plate and screws.

A police officer from the 103rd Precinct in Jamaica witnessed the shooting and reported the incident. Adams was arrested a block from the scene within minutes of the shooting. He was in possession of a backpack containing the loaded .40 caliber Smith & Wesson handgun used in the shooting, according to the charges. The handgun was loaded with one round in the chamber and 11 rounds of ammunition in an unlawful high-capacity magazine. A second illegal high-capacity magazine with an additional 15 rounds of ammunition was also recovered from the backpack.

“No one should have to worry about being shot at when riding the bus,” Katz said. “The jury convicted this defendant for recklessly firing his gun on a busy thoroughfare and he will have to pay for what he did.”

Adams faces a possible sentence of 25 years in prison by Queens Supreme Court Justice Gary Miret on April 21.

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