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Two kids were arrested today for a holiday tragedy in an apartment building in Queens last night. It was childish prank, that sparked a fire. It left one man dead.
Eyewitness News reporter Jeff Rossen joins us now, live in Far Rockaway with the unfortunate story.
Call it a prank, call it what you want. Police call it clear-cut murder. Now, two boys--two 13-year-old boys--are accused of setting a fire in this building, and killing a worker inside. Carletha Woodley, Victim's Cousin, weeping: "He has four kids."
The victim's family was in tears today. Raymond James, husband and father of four, was just trying to make an honest living as a security guard at this high-rise. But on Christmas Day, police say, two teenage boys ended his life.
TE Daughtry, Neighbor: "Kids do those things when they get bored. But this is the first time I've heard of something really bad like this happening."
Police say the boys, both 13-years old, set fire to holiday decorations and a garbage cart in the building.
That is when Raymond James, the security guard, took the cart on to the elevator. As he tried to get it out of the building, the fire flared up, killing him inside of the elevator. Now, the two teens have been charged with murder.
Jahdaniam Bedward, Neighbor: "They shouldn't have been doing that, you know. They shouldn't be playing with no fire like that. It took somebody's innocent life for no reason."
Carletha Woodley, Victim's Cousin: "Parents should be charged when children this age commit crimes like this."
The victim moved here less than two years ago. He was a police officer on the island of St. Vincent. He came to New York to start a new life.
Now, his wife must raise the kids alone.
Reporter: "And the children will never know their father." Lavern James, Victim's Wife: "The baby won't know him at all. She's only 9 months old. And the two six-year-olds won't have much recollection of him."
Now, those 13-year-old boys are charged with murder, charged as juveniles. Which means they will not be in criminal court. They will appear in family court to handle this tomorrow.