18-year-old girl dies after being shot in the head in Yonkers

YONKERS, Westchester County (WABC) -- A vigil was held Friday night honoring an 18-year-old girl who was fatally shot in the head in Yonkers.

Family members and friends gathered to honor Marilyn Cotto Montanez, who walking with her sister when she was shot on the corner of Lake Avenue and Morningside Place around 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

Police have three people in custody and are searching for more suspects.

"She was minding her business, she was helping our baby sister finish a project for school," said one of the victim's sisters, Yosmarils Cotto.

"It wasn't her time, she didn't deserve it," said one of the mourners.

Authorities say a group of people who knew each other had a fight on Lake Avenue, and one group chased after another. Surveillance video shows a car pulling up to the scene and two men jumping out before running around the corner.

That's when police say one person took out a gun and fired at least one shot into the direction of the other group.

The bullet hit Marilyn, an honor student finishing her junior year of high school, who was walking home after getting a poster for a school project.

"Our family is hurt, and whoever did this, we're going to get justice for it," said the victim's friend Naraly Martinez.

"The entire Yonkers learning community and in particular Marilyn's school family are profoundly saddened by this heartbreaking loss," Superintendent of Schools Dr. Edwin Quezada said in a statement. "Our hearts and prayers are with her family as they struggle to understand this senseless act of violence. Let Marilyn be the phoenix to summons a call to action for the adults in our community; we cannot lose another child to gun violence. Our staff will support her family as needed throughout their grieving. School staff members remember Marilyn as a caring young woman with a bright future within her reach. Our District Crisis Intervention Team will provide support to students, faculty and staff who may be grieving Marilyn's senseless incomprehensible death."

When police arrived at the scene, the suspects had scattered. The video showed the two men running back toward the car, with one of them jumping it before the car speeds away.

Police said Montanez did not appear to be involved in the incident.

"Last night, we experienced a tragic event where a young person lost her life due to gun violence," Police Commissioner Charles Gardner said. "First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the victim. The Yonkers Police is dedicating every available resource to apprehend the person responsible for this heinous act. We anticipate an arrest in the near future and will ensure he will be held accountable for his despicable actions."
The investigation is active and ongoing. So far, no charges have been filed.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact the Yonkers Police Detective Division at (914) 377-7724 - all calls will remain confidential. 100% anonymous tips can be sent by texting the key word YPD plus the tip to 847411. Anonymous tips can also be sent to us directly through the Yonkers PD Tips app which can be downloaded for free to any Apple or Android device.

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