A 14-year-old boy who was visiting East Harlem in New York City to say goodbye to his old neighborhood after his family moved to New Jersey was fatally shot in the head on Tuesday, police said.
The shooting unfolded just before 4:30 p.m. outside an East Harlem deli on East 128th Street between Lexington and Park avenues, the New York Police Department said at a news conference Tuesday.
The boy and another teenager had gone inside the deli for a moment, police said. As they were leaving, a volley of shots were fired at them.
They tried to run away, but the 14-year-old, who was identified by police as Justin Streeter, was shot in the head. He was taken to Harlem Hospital in critical condition, with police confirming early Wednesday morning that he had died.
The other boy, 15, was hit in the leg by a bullet as he ran away, police said. He was expected to recover after a good Samaritan helped him with his injuries, according to officials.
Police said the suspect, identified as male, took off from the scene.
There was no immediate information on a potential motive in the shooting, but police said it was believed to have been targeted.
A witness told police they knew Streeter and that his family had just moved to New Jersey, NBC New York reported.
The witness, who did not want to be identified over fears for his safety, said the teen had been visiting the neighborhood to say his final goodbyes.
“They supposedly had moved out to New Jersey to create a new life and get out of the ghetto, and they came to say goodbye to their loved ones and friends. And sure enough it was the last goodbye,” the witness said.
An investigation into the deadly shooting is ongoing.
Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to come forward.
“We need your help,” NYPD Chief of Patrol Jeffrey Maddrey said at an earlier news conference after the shooting unfolded. “We cannot allow this gun violence to continue. We cannot allow our young people to fall victim to gun violence, so please any help that we can get, I implore this to New York.”