A 13-year-old boy was shot and killed outside a cafe in the Bronx on Sunday afternoon in what police officials said they believed was a gang-related attack that targeted the boy.
Shortly after 3 p.m., a dark sedan drove down East 187th Street, in the Belmont section of the Bronx, where the boy was standing outside Angels Cafe, according to the police. A gunman got out of the vehicle and started shooting, hitting the boy once in the chest and once in the leg, a police spokesman said.
One witness at the scene, about a block west of the Bronx Zoo, said he had heard “about eight rounds” being fired, WABC-TV reported. The boy stumbled inside the cafe after he was shot, The New York Daily News reported. “He came in, fell and died in the restaurant,” a worker at the restaurant named Jennifer told the newspaper. “We didn’t see what happened, though,” she said.
The boy, who was identified as Jaryan Elliot, was taken to St. Barnabas Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to the police.
Chief Rodney Harrison, the chief of department of the New York Police Department, said on Twitter that the 13-year-old was “the intended target” of a gang-related shooting. “Gang violence is plaguing #NYC and has to stop,” he added.
Richie Madera, 20, said he and the victim had grown up together around the corner from the cafe and had spoken just before the shooting. “I told him, ‘Be safe,’” Mr. Madera recalled. “He was a good kid.”
A cardboard memorial with candles and handwritten messages was placed outside the victim’s building. “All Angels Go to Heaven,” read one message.
Hours after the shooting, Angels Cafe was mostly cleared. A few people stood by as the police examined yellow tags on the sidewalk and inside the cafe.
Across the street, a bodega had a sign in its window that pleaded “Stop the Violence — No More Shooting,” with information about a vigil for a 19-year-old who was shot and killed a few blocks away this month.
Local officials were shocked by the latest shooting and the young age of the victim. “We have to get serious and smarter on crime!” City Councilman Oswald J. Feliz, who represents the area where the shooting took place, wrote on Twitter. “We cannot and will not continue to lose our children!” In a brief telephone interview, Mr. Feliz said: “People are very very concerned about crime in their neighborhoods. Crime is rising.”
As of June 13, the latest date covered by the Police Department’s online crime figures, there had been 765 shootings in the city, with 886 shooting victims. By this time last year, there had been 555 shootings with 670 shooting victims, according to the department’s figures.
The latest shooting comes a day before President Biden is scheduled to meet with Eric Adams, the former police captain and declared winner of the Democratic mayoral primary, and others to discuss curbing gun violence, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Teá Kvetenadze contributed reporting.
The Insidexpress is now on Telegram and Google News. Join us on Telegram and Google News, and stay updated.