ROCKVILLE, Md. – A 17-year-old high school student was sentenced in Montgomery County Circuit Court on Wednesday to 25 years in prison for shooting two people last year at the Rockville Metro Station.
Kevin Nguyen of Rockville had pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree murder and a handgun charge. Police say Nguyen shot a 16-year-old boy inside the Metro station last May after an argument. The boy and a woman bystander were both injured but survived.
Authorities say a friend of Nguyen, Tavares Harris, gave him the gun used in the shooting. Harris was convicted of first-degree assault and will be sentenced on June 14.
Prosecutors say the two teenagers were convicted in part by evidence from videos and social media. One video shows Harris rapping about the gun used in the attack. A Metro surveillance video was also used as evidence in the investigation.
Authorities say the teens also discussed plans for the shooting on Twitter.
In handing down her sentence, Judge Mary Beth McCormick cited the culture of violence among young people, including the Newtown shootings and the Boston bombings.
She said she had to send a message of punishment and deterrence.
Sheila Rolley, the mother of one of the victims, Jared Cannon, called the sentence fair.
“He had choices, and he chose to go to the Metro and shoot my child.”
State’s Attorney John J. McCarthy, who had originally asked for 50 years, called the 25 years appropriate.
“It’s a terrifying event, and we think the sentence given by the judge, which was a very stiff sentence for a 17-year-old boy, was absolutely appropriate.”
As many as 60 people were in the tunnel at the Metro station when the shooting occurred. Rolley says she can no longer set foot in that station because of what happened.
Nguyen will serve 20 years for attempted murder and another 5 years for violent use of a firearm. He won’t be eligible for parole for at least 15 years.
Nguyen will serve his sentence at the Patuxent Institute for youthful offenders.
Both Harris and Nguyen were students at Richard Montgomery High School.