“How does a 14-year-old obtain a handgun?” asked Jackie Rowe Adams, co-founder of Harlem Mothers SAVE.

March 20 was the first day of spring, a warm day considering the heavy storms the city has been enduring over the last few weeks. Folks were ready to get into their pre-summer rituals.

But shots rang out on a city bus as people were going about their business. A young father lay dying, and a teen with some sort of perceived beef was holding the smoking gun.

Kahton Anderson, 14, the alleged shooter, is reportedly a member of the Stack Money Goons gang based out of the Tompkins Houses in Brooklyn. He was on the B15 bus in Bedford-Stuyvesant when he spotted a rival gang member from Marcy Houses’ Twan Family. Apparently, Anderson fired his .357 Magnum but missed his intended target, instead hitting Angel Rojas, 39, in the back of the head. Prosecutors say that Anderson fled the bus and kept on shooting from the sidewalk.

Detective James Duffy told the AmNews that the shooting took place at about 6:20 p.m. in the vicinity of Lafayette Boulevard and Marcus Garvey Boulevard. “Upon arrival, responding officers discovered the victim, a 39-year-old male who was a passenger on the B15 MTA bus, with a gunshot wound to his head. EMS also responded to the location and transported the victim to Woodhull Hospital, where he was pronounced DOA [dead on arrival]. A male was taken into custody at the scene, and a firearm was recovered. The investigation is ongoing,” said Duffy.

On Friday night, Anderson, 14, was charged as an adult with second-degree murder for the shooting of Rojas, plus criminal possession of a weapon and criminal use of a firearm. At press time, he was indicted. He is being held without bail after he “made statements to police … admitting his participation in the crime,” said prosecutor Lindsay Gerdes.

Police Commissioner William Bratton said, “The stupidity of those gangs [is] that basically, over nothing, [they] are trying to kill each other and unfortunately, in the process, kill innocents, as they did with this hard-working young man trying to raise his family. A life needlessly lost, taken by a 14-year-old who felt it necessary to carry a gun on a city bus and shoot it.”

The uproar has been instant, and the sense of sadness and frustration in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood is omnipresent. As shots rang out, people hit the deck in homes, the nearby supermarket and stores.

“Brooklyn mourns the tragic loss of Angel Rojas, another victim of senseless gun violence in our borough,” charged Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a former lieutenant in the New York Police Department. “Our community is coming together in this time of grief to comfort and to demand better from each other. We need to work together, in partnership with our men and women in blue, to root out gang violence and point our young people toward positive behavior. There is no reason none—that a 14-year-old child should have a gun, and we should not be satisfied until we ensure that reality is a violent memory of the past.”

“Every aspect of this story is heartbreaking,” said Council Member Robert Cornegy. “I’m grappling with the disturbing reality that a teenaged boy was willing to shoot wildly in a public place and that our society’s inconsistent gun control policies allowed him to get a weapon and take a life. I’m focused on reducing the availability of guns in our community and on inoculating other youth against the disease of gun violence. …The loss of Mr. Rojas, an innocent man and hardworking provider, is senseless and devastating. My heart goes out to his grieving widow and children.”

Rojas, a recent emigrant from the Dominican Republic, worked two jobs and was heading home from a 12-hour shift to see his family before he started his second job that evening. He leaves behind Maria Lopez, a part-time home attendant and mother of their 12-year-old son, Saury, and 8-year-old daughter, April. Speaking to journalists, Saury translated for his mom, stating that now they cannot afford to rent their second-floor Brownsville apartment.

“She can’t stay here; she says she can’t afford the rent,” he said as he struggled to come to terms with why his father was shot and killed by a boy just two years his senior. “He was a good man. He used to go to work for us so we could live and could eat and survive.”

Saying that her son is “a good kid” and still just “a child,” Anderson’s mother, who asked to remain anonymous, noted, “A tragedy has happened. Both families are suffering a loss.”

Rowe-Adams, a mother who has lost two sons to gun violence, told the AmNews, “Unless you have lost a loved one to gun violence, you don’t know how important it is to get those who are involved in the trafficking and selling of illegal guns in our city off the street and behind bars.”

In 1982, Rowe-Adams’ then 17-year-old son Tyrone was shot in the head by a 13-year-old in Baltimore. Sixteen years later, her son Anthony Bouldin, 28, was killed in Harlem. “Who is putting these guns in our babies’ hands?” Rowe-Adams asked.

“We know where the guns are coming from—from the east, the west and the south, the Jersey border, the I-95. If we know this, then why aren’t they being stopped?” said Rowe-Adams, who asked the same question of National Rifle Association (NRA) CEO Wayne LaPierre at the 2012 NRA national meeting.

Rowe-Adams’ Harlem Mothers SAVE is calling for a citywide investigation on how a 14-year-old can get hold of a .357 Magnum handgun. “The kids are telling me, ‘Oh, I can get a gun anytime,’” said Rowe-Adams. “Clearly someone is putting guns in our kids’ hands. It is not the first time. We should be focusing on the fact that we need more parents, families and more community involvement paying attention to who is putting the guns in our kids’ hands.”