In wake of boy’s murder, new bill increases penalty for drive-by shooting deaths

Ayshawn Davis, age 11, was killed by a stray bullet during a drive by shooting in Troy on September 14. A new bill in the state Legislature introduced by Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara and Sen. Daphne Jordan would make it a first degree murder when a person is killed during a drive-by shooting incident.

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, along with Sen. Daphne Jordan, have teamed up to introduce legislation that will ensure the people responsible for a drive-by shooting will be held accountable after an 11-year-old boy was fatally shot in the head after a drive-by shooting in Troy on Sept. 13.

This legislation was introduced on Sept. 19 by Santabarbara and will coincide with a bill introduced in the Senate by Sen. Jordan, a Republican, to add murder caused by drive-by shootings to the list of offenses that qualify as first-degree murder.

As a class A felony, murder in the first degree can be punishable in New York state by life in prison without the possibility of parole. 

The Santabarbara-Jordan bill is named “Ayshawn’s Law” in memory of Ayshawn Davis, the victim of the Troy shooting earlier this month, and would amend the State Penal Law to establish a “drive by shooting” as being defined when a person, with the intent to cause the death of another person, discharges a firearm from a motor vehicle at another person outside of the motor vehicle. 

“It’s heartbreaking to see this tragic and senseless death,” Santabarbara said in a press release. “Drive-by shootings are an attack on our community and we cannot standby while innocent bystanders become victims. We must do all that we can to ensure those responsible face the harshest penalties.”

“While I know the police are doing all they can to bring those responsible to justice, we as legislators also have a responsibility to take action,” he added. “This bill is a bi-partisan effort that sends a strong message, we will not tolerate these attacks on our community here or anywhere.”