LOCKPORT, New York — A pair of teens from Upstate New York have been indicted on murder charges for firing through a garage door into a Halloween party, killing an innocent bystander and wounding five others, authorities said.
They are accused of firing eight rounds from a handgun through a metal door on the side of a garage at 43 S. Niagara St.
Cheyenne Farewell, 20, of Medina, died on her way to the hospital. Five others, ranging in age from 15 to 21, were wounded, two of them seriously.
Prosecutors say Farewell was not part of the dispute that allegedly led to the Oct. 17 shooting. “She was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Niagara County District Attorney Caroline Wojtaszek said.
The defendants, ages 16 and 17, pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Farewell’s family said she was a student at the College of Brockport and was working toward becoming a therapist.
“Her life’s work wanted to be reaching out to people that needed help,” her mother, Rochelle Horner told WIVB-TV.
“The one thing that she really wanted to do when she decided to switch her major to become a therapist was to work with inner city kids,” Horner told the outlet. “It always hurt her that – and she had a lot of friends that were in this boat, of not being able to afford a therapist. They’re expensive.”
Because the alleged gunmen aren’t adults, the court hasn’t released their names. Both defendants face two counts of second-degree murder; four counts of first-degree assault; five counts of second-degree assault; and one count of first-degree reckless endangerment.
The 17-year-old also was charged with two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, while the 16-year-old faces one count of the weapons charge.
Doreen M. Hoffmann, Niagara County first assistant district attorney, said the indictment includes two theories of murder: intentional killing and killing with “depraved indifference to human life.”
Horner said her daughter would have forgiven the suspects.
“I know right now she would not only forgive them. She’d be worried about if they’re doing okay, if they’re hurting, if they went through something as children that made them turn to this kind of life.”
Her mother says she, too, forgives the suspects.
“I’m in a place where I want to forgive them. I do forgive them. I’m at peace with that,” Horner said.
In early January, cops arrested 21-year-old Jonathan Frey, a level 3 sex offender from Lockport, and charged him with hindering prosecution for allegedly driving the shooters to and from the crime scene.