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Police & Fire

Two Charged For Shooting Death Of 12-Year-Old Area Girl

Gilbert Thomas and Robert James
Gilbert Thomas and Robert James Photo Credit: New York State Police

The alleged killers of a 12-year-old girl in the area have been arrested by New York State Police.

Ulster County residents Gilbert Thomas, 24, and Robert James, 46 were arrested on Thursday, Dec. 24, for the shooting of D'Janeira Mason, in Kingston on Thursday, Dec. 17, said Trooper Steven Nevel.

During the incident, her 10-year-old brother was also shot in the arm.

The children were shot while inside their home at 60 Van Buren St. around 8 p.m. when shots were fired into the house, police said.

State police said both men were involved in the shooting. Following their arrest, Thomas and James, both residents of Kingston, were charged with:

  • Murder
  • Assault
  • Criminal use  of a firearm

The State Police were assisted in the investigation by the City of Kingston Police Department, the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office, the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office, and the Town of Ulster Police Department. 

D'Janeira, called Djae by friends and family, was a seventh-grade student at J. Watson Bailey Middle School, which posted a video on its website in her honor, saying, "This beautiful sassy spirited soul, DJ, had a great smile. She was always loyal, honest, and funny. In math and science she was the first one to raise her hand, she loved and excelled in these subjects."

According to her obituary, visitation will take place on Monday, Dec. 28 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Joseph V. Leahy Funeral Home at 27 Smith Ave. in Kingston. Face coverings and social distancing will be required.

Djae was known for loving TikTok dancing videos, and for helping anyone and anywhere she could, her obituary said.

The daughter of Aleshia Keener and the late Kevin Mason, she is survived by her stepfather, Christopher Mangrum; her siblings, Danaela Mason, Dalani Mason, Dasane Mason, Myla Mangrum, My’Leigh Mangrum, Ma’Jesti Mangrum, Markeya Trueluck, Asianae Infante, Nyasia Orr, Chade Mason, Yan Mason, Zaid Mason, Jason Wallace, and Chai-Ann Wallace; as well as her grandfather, Timothy Keener; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.

The case remains under investigation, any persons with information are asked to contact the State Police at 845- 338-1702. 

 All calls will be kept confidential. 

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