NEW YORK – More lives have been destroyed by senseless gun violence.
Police are searching for the suspects who gunned down a Bronx teenager.
CBS2’s Thalia Perez is learning more about the young life taken too soon.
Candles mark the spot where a 17-year-old, identified by family members as Jason Perez, was gunned down Tuesday.
“This affects a lot of people because it happened right here in the ‘hood. Like, right here. I’m just so devastated. You know, I just keep talking to my son and I tell everybody please keep your son close, your kids close,” said area resident Lasha Pickett.
Police say the teen was ambushed around 8:15 p.m. at the corner of West 170th Street and Ogden Avenue by a group of five who were in the Big Sal Deli and Grocery and then followed him outside.
Police say he was punched in the face before shots were fired.
“He’s a nice guy, and his mom, she is good. She is coming and buying from me every time, laughing, joking,” said Abdo Alatabr. “I’m very sad. I heard he died and he is so young.”
Police say the teen suffered a gunshot wound to the chest and died at Lincoln Hospital.
“He’s a sweetheart. He’s not a bad person. He always be here with everybody. I be with him. He be with my daughter,” his cousin Hilda said.
Family members say Perez was in high school, a good student who never got into any trouble. Meanwhile, neighbors say we’ve got to get guns off our streets.
“You’re supposed to get a gun through a legitimate avenue, otherwise this is what can happen,” said neighbor Deidire Short. “It’s scary.”
“You know the mom?” Thalia Perez asked.
“Yes, and she’s a beautiful woman. And she raised her son very well, and she didn’t have him out on the street,” Short said.
Police are still working to determine a motive while they search for the five suspects.
Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit a tip via their website or via DM on Twitter, @NYPDTips. All calls are kept confidential.
Thalia Perez contributed to this report.
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