New York Daily News

‘HE IS, IN FACT, THE GUNMAN’

Shea rejects ma’s cry that her son didn’t kill boy, 10, in driveway flap

- BY ROCCO PARASCANDO­LA , THOMAS TRACY, BRITTANY KRIEGSTEIN, AND LEONARD GREENE

The city’s top cop Wednesday dismissed a Queens mother’s argument that her son was being framed for the weekend shooting death of 10-year-old Justin Wallace, who was gunned down at a family barbecue.

Police Commission­er Dermot Shea said they got the right guy.

“The person we have in custody has been charged with the death of Justin and he is, in fact, the gunman,” Shea told WPIX 11 News.

The police commission­er added no other suspects were being sought.

About 12 hours earlier, Jovan Young, 29, was collared for the caught-on-camera Saturday night shooting on Beach 45th St. near Beach Channel Drive in the Edgemere section of the Rockaways, where Justin and his 29-year-old cousin were wounded.

Justin was rushed to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, where he died, just three days before his 11th birthday. Prosecutor­s said a single bullet struck

Justin in the abdomen and damaged his heart and left lung. His cousin Kyle Forrester was shot three times in the back, once in the hand, and once in the neck. Prosecutor­s said he remains in critical condition.

Young was held without bail after he was arraigned Wednesday on murder and other charges.

Young appeared onscreen at his arraignmen­t in Queens Criminal Court, and stood quietly in the holding cell in the same white jumpsuit he was wearing when detectives walked him out of the 101st Precinct stationhou­se in Queens the night before. Prosecutor­s said Young was identified by witness testimony, three different photo lineups and video evidence.

But Young’s mother said he didn’t do it. In an interview with the Daily News Tuesday, Young’s mother and sister pinned the blame on one of his friends and insisted Young wasn’t at the weekend shooting.

“I’ve seen the video 100 times,” said the suspect’s mother, Inita Young, 56. “I can’t see my son in it. He turned himself in because he has nothing to hide. I don’t want my son to take the fall.”

Young’s girlfriend and the mother of his

two children said Young and his friend could pass for brothers. “His friend is the same height, the same weight, the same look-alike,” said the girlfriend, who did not want to be named. “They could be brothers. That’s his friend, that’s not him. I know it’s not him. He’s not that type of person.”

She said Young, the father of 4- and 9-year-old sons, would never do anything that would put a child in danger.

“Jovan has children. Jovan has more to lose than his friend,” the girlfriend said. “I know he feels for the child because he loves kids, so once he heard there was a child involved, I know that broke his heart because he loves kids.”

“Who actually saw him?” she said. “That person had a mask on in the video. I don’t see where there’s a face, I don’t see how they could pick him out from a lineup. He didn’t know these people for anything. He doesn’t have no connection­s. There’s no motive as to why he would do that.”

She said the friend had an ongoing beef with the people who lived in the house where the shooting took place. She said the friend is in hiding and being protected

‘I don’t see where there’s a face, I don’t see how they could pick him out from a lineup.’ THE SUSPECT’S GIRLFRIEND

by his family.

But police sources said Young turned himself in only after hearing that investigat­ors had recovered the gun used in the deadly attack.

Surveillan­ce video of the shooting shows a man firing eight shots into the home from beyond a gate on the sidewalk.

Sources said Young made no statement to cops when he surrendere­d. Shea praised detectives who made the arrest.

“They worked around the clock. They literally did,” Shea told NY1. “I give them a lot of credit. They really took this personally. I think all of New York City was disgusted by that incident. We’re just glad for the family that we can close that chapter. But the sad thing is it’s never going to bring that young boy back. That’s the real tragedy here.”

Shea also confirmed the senseless motive behind the shooting, an ongoing dispute over a shared driveway.

“Everything we have now is that we have a gathering on that day, a friendly barbecue and there is a dispute over the shared driveway,” Shea said. “This is not the first time that there has been words over that driveway. And that is the incident, if you will, that started the dispute that later in the day the individual comes and shoots into the stairway house hitting the two victims.”

Mayor de Blasio echoed Shea’s frustratio­n over the senselessn­ess of the shooting.

“When I was with his family in their living room, what they said to me was, ‘’We can’t have him back. That’s what we wish for the most, but the other thing we wish for is justice. We wish and we pray that the person who did this is brought to justice,’ ” de Blasio said.

“It will not bring Justin back and it’s so painful to think he should be preparing for a long and wonderful life ahead. Every parent can feel that. But when someone does something wrong at least, we need to know and feel that there will be real consequenc­es.”

Authoritie­s said Young has been arrested seven times before in seven separate incidents including six felonies that date back to 2006.

Young, who has the word “chaos” tattooed on his arm, was arrested for assault in a domestic violence case in 2012 and robbery with a weapon in 2016.

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 ??  ?? Jovan Young is arrested Tuesday in Queens in killing of 10-yearold Justin Wallace (left). Top cop Dermot Shea (above) brushed aside claim by Young’s mother that he is innocent.
Jovan Young is arrested Tuesday in Queens in killing of 10-yearold Justin Wallace (left). Top cop Dermot Shea (above) brushed aside claim by Young’s mother that he is innocent.

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