Investigators are focusing on the spurned boyfriend in the murder of 16-year-old Kyanna Thomas, who was stabbed in the throat and left to die on a street corner in Brownsville early Sunday morning. Thomas, who lived in Queens with her mother, a Department of Correction captain, was staying with her aunt on the night of the murder. Her family says she sneaked out to attend a party, and sometime after 3 a.m. she used her cell phone to call 911 as she lay dying in a pool of her own blood.
Thomas's friends tell the Daily News a boy she had recently spurned had sent her a threatening text message, and police sources say they believe the unidentified boy is the killer. As it happens, Daily News editor Alexander Nazaryan was Thomas's English teacher two years ago when she was in ninth grade at Brooklyn Latin, a specialized school in Bushwick. Nazaryan, whom you may recall from his benighted anti-cyclist screeds, has penned a moving reflection on Thomas's death:
Kyanna Thomas was an ordinary kid, but she did not have the luxury of an ordinary life. She did not have someone to pick her up from the party, gently admonish her about drinking, and drive her safely home. She was one of those kids for whom every decision is fraught, whose every choice carries far too much weight, for whom a trip to the corner store could become a matter of life and death. Sometimes they make the right choice, and sometimes they don't. More often, fate and circumstance make their own brutal decisions.
Yesterday outraged community members took to the streets, handing out fliers in the neighborhood where Thomas was murdered. "We're out here tonight because we're sick and tired of our children being killed senselessly for foolish reasons out here," Harold Crawford from 100 Blacks In Law Enforcement Who Care told WPIX 11. The local news channel also reports that community advocate Tony Herbert gave the media a pat on the back: "Well, since we've been out here this afternoon and with the great reporting you guys are doing, I've got to give a lot of credit to that, someone said that they saw a guy in all white who apparently was attacking her, they saw the scuffle."
There's a $4,000 reward for information that leads to her killer's conviction, and anyone with information on the case is asked to contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.