A 16-year-old boy has confessed to the Monday afternoon shooting that left a Bronx girl in a medically-induced coma. Carvett Gentles, a sophomore at Bronx Leadership Academy who rarely attended class, had no criminal record before this week, and police believe that's why the .40-caliber pistol used in the shooting was passed to him, in a street version of "hot potato." The four other young men who were with him Monday afternoon all have extensive arrest records, and those boys—also members of a Bloods gang spin-off called "Gorilla Stone Blood"—passed the gun around until it ended up in Gentles's hands.

111809vada.jpgThey had been sent on a mission to exact revenge on Tyrone Creighton; investigators believe Creighton's brother assaulted one of gang-members' brothers on Rikers Island. (A spokesman for the city Correction Department tells the Times there is "no information that either of the Creighton brothers currently in our custody has been involved in a fight with other inmates.") The five young men allegedly confronted Creighton, 19, outside a Bronx bodega, and one suspect, Clive Smith, asked, "What’s up with the beef between your brothers and Darrel?"

Cleighton tried to run, but by then the gun had landed in Gentles's hand, and he fired at least six rounds, hitting Creighton in the shoulder and penetrating his lung. (He's currently in stable condition.) 15-year-old Vada Vasquez happened to be walking home from school with a friend, and a stray bullet struck her in the head, shattering inside her skull. After brain surgery, she is in a medically-induced coma. Her older sister tells the Times, "She’s a great artist, a great kid. She’s hardworking. She likes her music, her guitar and her drums."

Yesterday prosecutors charged Gentiles with attempted murder, criminal use of a firearm and armed assault. A classmate of his tells CBS2, "If I was like sad he would talk to me, stuff like that, or at lunch he would joke around. He's a good kid. I wouldn't believe he would do all this." A reporter asked the mother of two other suspects, Cleve and Clivie Smith, ages 20 and 19, if they had ever been in trouble with the law. She responded, "You know they kids. That has nothing to do with … No … and don't do that. Those are my babies."

Gentles' mother, Zelita Mighty, 36, told reporters she "could not breathe" when asked about the charges, and later passed them a note through her apartment window which read: "The events over the past couple of days have been tragic. We are heartbroken over the whole incident. We pray daily for young Vada Vasquez." Asked about recent spike in gun violence, a 56-year-old man who has lived in the South Bronx his whole life told the Post, "It's still the same. The only thing different is the prices of the drugs went up. Nowadays, there is no parental guidance—kids are raising kids. Now parents are trying to pay their bills and they're working. Before, they were on welfare and were at home when the kids got home."