Friends, family and well-wishers are rallying around the family of an innocent 11th-grade student in Westchester who was the bystander shot and killed near a busy intersection.
Marilyn Cotto Montanez, an 11th-grader at Lincoln High School in Yonkers, was found by officers bleeding on the sidewalk with a gunshot wound to her head shortly 6:45 p.m. on Thursday, April 25.
Yonkers Police Det. Sgt. Dean Politopoulos said that the initial investigation determined that several people who were familiar with each other were involved in an altercation before the gun went off.
One group wound up allegedly chasing the other, with a suspect displaying a handgun, which went off, striking Montanez in the head, who was uninvolved, Politopoulos said. The suspect then fled the scene.
In response, a GoFundMe fundraising campaign was arranged for Montanez’s family that raised more than $4,000 in six hours.
“Marilyn was 18 years old full of life and so eager for her future. She wanted to go to Farmingdale to pursue nursing and began applying for scholarships to help her pay for it,” the page says. “I know family always speak about how much of an angel their loved one was but our baby truly was.
“Yes she was a brat sometimes but can anyone name a teen high schooler who isn’t? Someone took the life of an innocent baby. She will never get to turn 19, she will never get to go prom shopping like we’ve talked about for hours at a time, she will never get to graduate high school with a Regents diploma that she was working so hard for or go to college, she will never get married or have children of her own. #justiceformarilyn because she deserves nothing less.”
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Edwin M. Quezada said that “the entire Yonkers learning community and in particular Marilyn’s school family are profoundly saddened by this heartbreaking loss. 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.”
The investigation into Montanez’s death is ongoing. Those interested in donating to the GoFundMe campaign can do so here.
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