NEW YORK (CBS 2) — A straight-A student from the Bronx extended his hand to offer peace, and instead ended up dead.
Police said he was shot to death in broad daylight during a dispute near his home in Soundview.
CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman spoke with his heart-broken mother.
Joann Soto’s only child was taken from her — shot down — Saturday afternoon.
“It’s never going to stop,” Soto said, speaking of the pain she felt on Monday. “But what keeps me going is the smile that he had! That smile! Everybody knows him by that smile!”
He was all she had, her 17-year-old boy, Londell Byrd. On Friday, police said, he got into a fight with 18-year-old Jimmy Delgado, described by police as a neighborhood tough guy. Byrd’s grandfather told Guzman Byrd apparently embarrassed Delgado in that fight. But when Delgado came back Saturday afternoon, everyone thought it was to say, hey, let’s be friends.
“And Londell extends his hand to, you know, to make peace; and he goes, reaches into his pockets, comes out, and shoots him. You know, point blank,” Alex Rodriguez said.
“My son went by himself! And extended the hand! Wanted to make peace! And instead he got killed!” a distraught Soto added.
Neighbor Robert Smiley ran outside when he heard three shots.
“When the family member came, you know, he pulled the shirt and I saw the blood, you know, soaking up his shirt and I told him: start CPR,” Smiley said.
A contingent of Byrd’s classmates from Mount St. Michael Academy came to the house to pay respects, to show a banner everyone had signed. They knew Byrd planned to study business and accounting at Pace University. And that he was the great hope for this family.
The murder suspect, Delgado, is from Ecuador. Police said they have surveillance at all the airports in case he tries to flee the country.