Murder charges added against suspect in New Year's Eve shooting
A York City woman now faces murder charges as investigators allege she gunned down another woman on New Year’s Eve.
Alajah Holmes, 20, is accused of killing 18-year-old Amiya Paige as she allegedly fired a gun at a group of people from the window of a moving U-Haul van in the early morning hours of Dec. 31.
The shooting stemmed from apparent plans for Holmes to fight a relative at Newberry and Jackson streets, according to witness testimony at a recent district court hearing.
Investigators believe Holmes hung out with a guy named Jordan Mongold earlier in the day. He’d driven a U-Haul van from Harrisburg to York so he could bring a dirt bike down for them to ride, according to charging documents.
Later in the night, after Mongold had taken Holmes back to her home, she allegedly texted him to give her a ride to a fight. They drove to West Jackson Street and apparently parked for a bit.
Mongold allegedly told investigators that when Holmes saw a group of people, apparently involved in the fight, she told him to start driving slowly.
When the van crossed the intersection at South Newberry Street, witnesses said the passenger side window came down, and a woman in a ski mask spoke and then opened fire.
MORE:Settlement documents recount harrowing Vicosa murders and law enforcement errors
MORE:Student organizes fundraiser in memory of slain Central York teacher
MORE:Man dies in York after Franklin County crash
They identified Holmes by her voice and by recognizing her face in spite of the mask.
Mongold also testified he heard the gunshots from his side, but he said he didn’t see who fired.
The group ran when the shots were fired, but Paige fell, though she apparently wasn’t the target.
Police said she was shot multiple times, and she died from a wound to the back.
Mongold drove off after the shooting, investigators said.
Springettsbury Township Police, based on an alert, pulled the van over at an apartment complex about an hour later.
Holmes allegedly got out of the van and ran. Mongold was taken into custody after backup arrived, charging documents show.
>> Please consider subscribing to support local journalism.
Police arrested Holmes about a week later.
Prosecutors initially charged her with criminal homicide and attempted first-degree murder.
After the case advanced out of district court and into the York County Court of Common Pleas, the charges were updated, and the homicide count was replaced with counts of first- and third-degree murder.
Holmes was formally arraigned Wednesday before Judge Maria Musti Cook.
Her next hearing is now set for May 8, court documents show.
— Reach Aimee Ambrose at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @aimee_TYD.