Illegal immigrant from Jamaica, 18, is charged with murdering 12-year-old boy in Connecticut drive-by shooting a week before Christmas
- Tajay Chambers charged with murder; murder with special circumstances; use of a firearm during the commission of a felony; risk of injury to a child
- The 18-year-old Jamaican national is accused of shooting and killing 12-year-old Clinton Howell on December 18 in Bridgeport, Connecticut
- Investigators said Chambers opened fire on Howell’s older cousin, with whom he had an argument earlier, but instead struck the seventh-grader
- Three juveniles who police said were with Chambers that night, ages 12, 14 and 16, are facing charges of conspiracy to commit murder
- Chambers has been in jail since December 19, when he was arrested on unrelated charges of second-degree assault and breach of peace
Police in Connecticut have arrested an 18-year-old undocumented immigrant from Jamaica on murder charges related to the shooting death of an innocent 12-year-old boy a week before Christmas.
Bridgeport Police Chief Armando Perez on Monday announced the charges against Tajay Chambers stemming from the December 18 death of Clinton Howell outside his family’s home on Willow Street.
Chambers has been charged with murder; murder with special circumstances; use of a firearm during the commission of a felony; illegal possession of a firearm without a permit; risk of injury to a child; reckless endangerment, and larceny.
Police in Bridgeport, Connecticut, have charged 18-year-old Tajay Chambers (left), from Jamaica, with murder in the drive-by shooting that killed 12-year-old Clinton Howell (right)
Howell was shot on the front porch of his family’s home on the evening of December 18, after he had returned from buying snacks at a nearby store
Courtesy: FOX 61
Three juveniles who police said were with Chambers that night, ages 12, 14 and 16, are facing charges of conspiracy to commit murder; carrying a pistol or revolver without a permit and larceny.
According to police, at 9pm on December 18, Howell was returning home from getting snacks at a convenience store around the corner when Chambers opened fire, reported Fox61.
Investigators said Howell was an innocent bystander, not Chambers’ intended target, who was the victim’s older cousin.
CTpost.com reported, citing police sources, that earlier that evening, Chambers and his alleged co-conspirators were driving in a stolen car when they got into an argument with some people walking along Willow Street, among them Howell’s relative.
The victim’s cousin allegedly fired a pellet gun at Chambers’ car.
The 18-year-old drove off, then returned with a pistol and allegedly opened on the cousin, but instead struck Howell as he was standing on the front porch of his home.
The seventh-grader was struck by at least two rounds and collapsed in the doorway.
Howell was a seventh-grader who loved food and playing video games, according to his family. The screenshot on the right shows the 12-year-old opening a Christmas present last year
He was rushed to Bridgeport Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Family members said Clinton was a happy child who stayed out of trouble, loved food and video games. Some have been sharing videos on Facebook showing the boy opening Christmas presents last year.
Howell’s older brother, Gamel Dawkins (pictured), has launched an online fundraiser to help pay for the child’s funeral
Chambers has been in jail since December 19, when he was arrested on unrelated charges of second-degree assault and second-degree breach of peace stemming from an October 12 attack on a 16-year-old boy at Central High School.
In that incident, police said Chambers and two other juveniles punched the victim in the head, then kicked him down a flight of stairs.
A judge set Chambers’ bond at $500,000, and ICE put a detainer on him because the Jamaican national has been living in the US with a visa, reported WTNH.
He is expected to be arraigned on charges in the Howell case on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Howell’s older brother, Gamel Dawkins, has launched a GoFundMe campaign to pay for the boy’s funeral, writing in the description that his younger sibling was ‘full of life and joy,’ and was looking forward to celebrating Christmas, followed by his 13th birthday on January 13.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the fundraiser has drawn more than $22,250 in donations.