Reporting Steve Sandberg
Police say a man came up to Juan Ortero, 15, in front of the Peaceful Valley community garden at East 117th Street and Madison Avenue around 9:30 p.m. and opened fire.
Ortero was shot in the torso and rushed to Metropolitan Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
“He was dead before he even hit the hospital,” his mother, Jessica Montilla, said. “He ain’t never gonna come back home. He’s never coming home.”
1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg speaks with the victim’s mother
A makeshift memorial with fifteen candles, one for each year that Ortero lived, now marks the spot where the 10th grader was gunned down.
No arrests have been made. A motive was not immediately known.
Montilla said her son fell in with the wrong crowd but he didn’t deserve to die.
“All I wanted him to do was to get an education and go to college and live a good life,” Montilla said. “That’s all I wanted, for him to be good and not to worry about what’s going on out there, there’s nothing out there for him. That was our biggest argument with each other.”
Last November, he was shot in the hand at a party on Park Avenue in East Harlem. He also had a prior arrest for robbery.
Montilla told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg that she did whatever she could to keep her son off the streets which she says is plagued by gang violence.
“He’s not the first and he won’t be the last to die this summer, believe me, the streets is hot,” Montilla said. “There’s going to be a lot more deaths and a lot of mothers feeling the way I feel; I wish them all the best, no one deserves this.”