A navy blue jacket lay crumpled on Adee Avenue behind police tape, testament to a young life extinguished.
Brazen gunmen shot and killed an alleged Parkside Houses “stick-up kid” in broad daylight on Thursday, January 14. Five shots were fired at around 2 p.m., four rapid shots followed by a fifth, neighbors said. The target, a 19-year old African-American male, took a bullet to the chest, police said. He was transported to Jacobi Medical Center, where he passed away at 2:45 p.m. Police hope to find two African-American males who fled the scene.
Two neighbors who asked to remain anonymous alleged that the target, a Parkside Houses resident, had robbed several people in his Allerton neighborhood. On Thursday night, the police had yet to release the target’s name because they had yet to notify his family.
“He did a lot of bad stuff,” a neighbor explained. “He used to stick people up. He used to make people strip and walk home with only underwear. He must have done it to the wrong guy. My guess is that it was payback.”
The neighbor heard the gunshots and looked out his window. He glimpsed a slim young man in light blue jeans, a dark coat and a green skullcap run through the Parkside Houses public housing development.
Another neighbor witnessed the end of the crime. The target fled up Adee Avenue from White Plains Road before he was shot, the neighbor said.
A neighbor who knew the target was upset at the news.
“I knew him as a kid,” the neighbor said. “I know his mom and his brother.”
The target was no angel, the neighbor admitted.
“It was lack of education or lack of programs for kids or whatever,” he said. “But I know he was too young to be where he is now.”
Some neighbors were shocked when they returned from work to a crime scene and scores of detectives.
“Nothing like this has happened before,” a Barker Avenue resident said. “I’m scared for my daughter. I have to move out of here.”
Barker Avenue resident Greg Figeroa, 24, agreed.
“At night we hear gunshots but no murders,” Figeroa said.
But more neighbors were, sadly, less then stunned.
“I’m not surprised, because the drugs are ridiculous here,” a neighbor who asked to remain anonymous said. “The teenagers don’t listen to nobody.”
The neighbor who glimpsed a suspect from his window agreed. He thinks the Parkside Houses need more police patrols and cameras.
“The kids shoot all day, all night,” he added. “They don’t care.”
The Parkside Houses are different than 30 years ago, a old timer explained.
“Back then people would say hello to each other,” he said. “Today, no one wants want to go outside.”
Joe Thompson of the 49th Precinct Community Council and Community Board 11 disagreed, to some extent. The Parkside Houses were more trouble 15 years ago. Thompson hopes the police keep crime down.
“There are a lot of drugs in the neighborhood,” he said. “The police have stepped up enforcement in the neighborhood but there are still bad guys around.”
Thompson fears that there will be retaliation.
“We don’t know whether this was gang-related or not,” he said. “Retaliation is the only fear. If this was gang-related, then we could have a war on our hands.”
Reach reporter Daniel Beekman at 718 742-3383 or email@example.com