Second teen charged as adult in 13-year-old's death

  • Article by: ABBY SIMONS
  • Star Tribune
  • July 5, 2012 - 6:26 PM

A second teenager is charged with first-degree murder in last summer's slaying of a 13-year-old boy, according to an indictment unsealed this week in Minneapolis.

Derrick Deangelo Catchings, 16, was certified this week to stand trial as an adult for the Aug. 24 death of Ray'Jon Gomez. Catchings, who was 15 at the time of the shootings, was indicted by a grand jury March 29 on two counts of first-degree murder and four other counts of attempted murder for firing at other boys who were with Gomez.

Because Catchings is a juvenile, his indictment was sealed until the Hennepin County attorney's office successfully petitioned to try him as an adult. He remains in the Hennepin County jail in lieu of $2 million bail.

The same grand jury indicted Donquarius Davon Copeland, 17 for the same murder and attempted-murder counts. Because of his age, Copeland was automatically certified as an adult. His indictment was made public in early April. He remains in the Anoka County workhouse for an unrelated second-degree assault case.

Both are charged with first-degree murder and first-degree murder while committing a drive-by shooting, two counts of attempted first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder while committing a drive-by shooting.

Gomez, known on his block as Lil' Bow-Wow, was riding his bike with two friends near the playground of the old Willard Elementary School when someone started shooting.

His death was part of an outbreak of violence on the North Side that left three teenagers dead in less than a month.

Four days before, Quantell Braxton, 14, was gunned down while playing tag with friends near North Commons Park.

On Sept. 19, Juwon Osborne, 16, was shot to death near the intersection of 30th and Dupont Avenues near his mother's house. Osborne's death was linked to a feud between two groups that resulted in the June 26 shooting death of 5-year-old Nizzel George, who was struck by a bullet as he slept in his grandmother's house.

Stephon Terrell Shannon, 17, was charged with first-degree murder last week in the boy's death. A 15-year-old has been charged as a juvenile.

Abby Simons • 612-673-4921

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