Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner gave on Monday an update on the case of the fatal shooting of Nikolette Rivera, the 2-year-old Hispanic girl who died two years ago in Kensington.
As reported by WHYY, Krasner said the primary shooter in the case, Tayvon Thomas, is now facing 55 to 110 years in prison. The attorney considered the shocking case as “one of the most upsetting” homicides the city has seen in the past few years.
The District Attorney stressed the evil power that a gun can conjure up. “It’s a pretty clear message for anyone thinking that the solution to your problem, the solution to your situation, involves a gun,” he said. “There are consequences, and those consequences are very, very real.”
Nikolette Rivera was shot while being held by her mother, Joan Ortiz, inside their home on North Water Street.
Authorities say Thomas and another man shot into the house because they thought the girl’s father was inside. Thomas later turned himself in and pled guilty to the shooting. The second man, Freddie Perez of Chester, Delaware County, is awaiting sentencing. Prosecutors say the shooting was drug- and gang-related.
At the time of the incident, the girl’s grandmother, Carmen Ortiz, and Joan’s two other children were in the home, but were not injured.
While this conviction cannot bring back the precious life of 2-year-old Nikolette Rivera, I hope it provides at least a modicum of comfort to her grieving mother, family, and friends. (1/2)https://t.co/SEb1DBSFoK
— DA Larry Krasner (@DA_LarryKrasner) August 23, 2021
Joan Ortiz was present at Krasner´s press conference where she said a few words. With a temper of sorrow but touched by that kind of conviction that gives deep pain she said: “I am my daughter’s voice.”
“We all have a chance”
She thanked the DA’s Office, and said above all, she wants potential shooters to know that violence is not their only option.
“You don’t have to become a product of your environment or your childhood. You can be better,” Ortiz said. “We all have a chance to do something better.”
Tayvon Thomas, she added, did not just take Nikolette Rivera’s life. “He also lost his life,” she said. “Even though he’s still breathing, he doesn’t have another chance.”
Krasner said the long sentence for Thomas, the primary shooter, should deter others from picking up guns to solve problems.