Queens man charged with murder in death of 10-year-old Justin Wallace
9th June 2021

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A 29-year-old Queens man was held without bail Wednesday on murder charges in the shooting death of a 10-year-old boy.

Jovan Young, who surrendered to cops on Tuesday, was hauled before a judge in Queens Criminal Court following the deadly shooting Saturday that sources said was sparked by a beef over a shared driveway.

“There isn’t a parent alive who doesn’t mourn this family’s loss, another tragic result from gun violence,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said in a statement.

“The defendant allegedly fired repeatedly into an occupied house, (and) is now in custody and faces justice in our courts,” Katz said.

Police released surveillance allegedly showing Young sticking a gun through a wrought-iron gate and firing multiple times at the home in Far Rockaway, fatally striking little Justin Wallace and injuring the boy’s 29-year-old cousin.

The boy’s cousin, Kyle Forester, was hit in the back and neck and was listed in critical condition after the shooting.

Queens Assistant District Attorney Bryan Kotowski said in court that Young had been picked out of three photo arrays by witnesses.

“The defendant did make efforts to conceal evidence in committing this crime,” Kotowski told Acting Supreme Court Justice Toko Serita.

“When he did speak to police the first time he came in, he was not truthful with respect to his whereabouts and his actions with respect to the crime,” he said. “And that was three days prior to him surrendering himself to the precinct.”

Young, wearing a white jumpsuit and a blue surgical mask, said nothing at the proceedings other than to answer routine questions by the judge.

However, Young’s family claimed he’s being framed for the crime.

Young’s family claimed he’s being framed for the crime.

“He called from the police station and said the police almost broke his arm,” Young’s mother, Initia Young, told The Post. “He said he wants a lawyer because he didn’t do what they’re saying and they’re charging him with something he didn’t do. That’s what he told me on the phone.”

The deadly shooting was the culmination of a long-running dispute over a shared driveway at Justin’s aunt’s home, where the boy was visiting.

Young’s girlfriend, meanwhile, claimed he was trying to clam things down.

“He did admit he was in the car trying to diffuse the situation,” his ex-girlfriend, who has two children with him, said Wednesday.

Young surrendered to police on what would’ve been Justin’s 11th birthday.

“He said he was innocent,” Inita Young said. “He wanted to face whatever they was talking about. At the end of the day, I know my son and he isn’t a killer.”

But the Big Apple’s top cop wasn’t buying it.

“This is the person we have in custody being charged with the death of Justin,” Police Commissioner Dermot Shea told WPIX-11 News on Wednesday. “And he is in fact the gunman.”

Asked if cops were looking for other suspects, Shea said, “not at this time.”

Shea also confirmed that the driveway was believed to be the motive.

“Everything that we have now, that we have a gathering on that day from the barbecue and there is a dispute over the shared driveway,” the commissioner said. “This is not the first time that there have been words over that driveway.”

“And that this is what is the incident, if you will, that started the dispute,” he said. “That later in the day this individual comes and shoots into the stairway (of the) house, hitting the two victims.”

Jovan Young also faces two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.

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