ASBURY PARK — Students are mourning the death of their friend and classmate as the search for his killer continued Friday.

The 10-year-old boy — identified Friday as Yovanni Banos-Merino — was shot and killed late Wednesday night at his home on Ridge Avenue. His mother, Lilia Merino, 38, was also shot but survived.

The intended target was a man who lived at the home, officials said.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested at Neptune High School on Thursday and charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, aggravated assault and weapons offenses.

Authorities say the teen was dating the 10-year-old's sister.

But the person who actually shot the pair is still at large, according to the Chris Swendeman, a spokesman for the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office.

No other suspects have been named or charged.

Banos-Merino was a student in the Asbury Park public school system but district spokeswoman Chandra Jackson would not disclose which of the district's four elementary schools he attended.

"Any act of violence is always disheartening, particularly when it happens in our community. Our deepest condolences go out to the family of the 10-year-old boy who was shot and subsequently died," Jackson said.

A GoFundMe page was created to help with the boy's funeral.

Many questions remain about the shooting:

  • Who fired the shots? - The prosecutor's office has not released any information about the person who fired the shots.
  • Motive for the shooting: The gunman, who is still at large, had "an issue" with a man who lived in the house, officials said. They have not publicly identified that man or what his relationship was to the family.
  • Where were shots fired from:  The location of where the shots were fired from was not disclosed. Video posted on Twitter by NBC 4 New York's Brian Thompson showed at least four bullet holes in the siding of the house and through a window. Swendeman said the weapon has been not been recovered.
  • Where everyone was in the house: Officials have not said where the victims were in the house when the shots were fired.

Swendeman asked anyone with information about this case to call the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 800-533-7443 or text “MONMOUTH” plus their tip to 274637; or, they can email a tip via the website at

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or on Twitter @DanalexanderNJ