‘We are experiencing an utter catastrophe’: 13 people, including teens, indicted for Bronx summer murders and violent crimes

Detectives recovered the firearm used in the murder of Jaryan Elliott.
Photos Dean Moses

Call them the dirty baker’s dozen.

Thirteen individuals — including five youths — wound up being indicted Thursday for a slew of violent crimes across the Bronx this Summer — including the murders of two young boys, various non-fatal shootings and carjackings.

A detective held up the handgun used in the brutal slaying of 13-year-old Jaryan Elliott on Thursday afternoon. Although nothing can bring the young teen back, investigators and the Bronx District Attorney’s office hopes that with the killers charged and the murder weapon wrapped up in plastic, both the family and community as a whole can rest a little easier.

District Attorney Darcel Clark and NYPD detectives announced the indictment of 13 individuals, including five teens. Photos Dean Moses

“These indictments are an assurance to the people of the Bronx that we will hold accountable anyone who brings gunfire to our streets. But these indictments are also a tragic chronicle of a lost generation: boys and young men who turn to guns, and two lives were taken, and 14 lives have been squandered. We must do something to change the course of our young people who gravitate to gangs so that they do not wind up committing serious crimes. We are experiencing an utter catastrophe in the Bronx,” Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said, pleading with the city to pay closer attention to the Bronx’s plight. Begging for resources, Clark pointed out the need for safe programming, housing, and jobs in order for the youth to be steered away from a life on the streets.

Known as the 800 Ygz (also called Young Gunnaz,) police say this gang has also been involved in the killing of a 16-year-old, the perpetrators of several shootings, and many other crimes, along with shootouts against rival gangs.

Some of the firearms recovered in the investigation.

The string of violent crimes occurred from May through July 2021 in the Belmont area of the Bronx. Jahlil Califf, 16, and Justin Baez, 18, were charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter for the murder of 13-year-old Jaryan Elliott on July 11 at 187th Street. Both 16-year-olds Alec McFarlane and Tyquan Howard were charged with second murder and manslaughter in the death of 16-year-old Ramon Gil-Medrano on July 11 at East 178th Street. Additionally, Baez faces charges for attempted murder for a non-fatal shooting of two rival gang members on East 184th Street and Washington Avenue.

The other individuals face a slew of charges varying from criminal possession of a weapon, conspiracy to commit murder, grand larceny, and more. Chief of Detectives James Essig revealed the disturbing truth that many of those involved in this gang-related gun violence are children as young as 13 years of age, making the youth recruitment exceptionally young.

Chief of Detectives James Essig.

“When you see people as young as 13 years old carrying a gun in New York City, it’s pretty shocking. Have they gotten younger? I mean you see kids as young as 13, 14,15, 16 in gangs involved in violence,” Essig said.

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