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Bronx Father Finds His 14-Year-Old Son Shot To Death Inside Haffen Park

Kemar Brooks (credit: handout via CBS 2)

Kemar Brooks (credit: handout via CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Bronx teenager, who failed to return home Thursday night, was found dead Friday morning. Police said the young man was shot in the head at a park in Baychester.

There was anguish after the shocking discovery at Haffen Park, CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported.

Kemar Bryan Brooks, 14, was found dead by his own father.

“Oh God, my heart fell to the ground. It was my last little son,” said Cassel Brooks, the victim’s father.

1010 WINS’ Al Jones With More The Story


Cassel Brooks said he expected to scold his son for missing curfew on a stormy night, never imagining he was lying dead a block from the family home.

The young teen spent hours each day playing tennis. Cassel Brooks said he searched for the boy at midnight, and again at dawn.

“I went outside, went by the park, and there I found him, lying, dead,” the father said.

Cassel Brooks told CBS 2’s Aiello when he found Kemar the young man was lying on his side, still holding his tennis racket. It was not immediately obvious to the father what killed his son, nor to police, until empty shell casings were found on a basketball court nearby.

“My heart just went dead and I went and called the police,” Brooks told 1010 WINS’ Al Jones.

An autopsy later confirmed Kemar’s head injury was a bullet entry wound.

“Too young, too soon. He was a minor!” the victim’s aunt said, adding the boy was successful at academics and athletics and had no enemies.

“[He was] always friendly with everybody. Everybody liked him,” she said.

Kemar may have been at the wrong place at the wrong time, like the 4-year-old boy killed in a wild shootout Sunday on a Morrisania playground and the five people shot at Rucker Park in Harlem on Wednesday.

“You’re supposed to come here to relax and recreate. Instead, our people are getting killed,” parks advocate Geoff Croft said.

Croft added he’s urging stepped up patrols during this stretch of summer violence.

The victim and his family moved to New York from Jamaica two years ago.

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