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Bronx Teen Gunned Down Near Home Trying To Break Up Fight

Victor Maldonado (credit: CBS 2)

Victor Maldonado (credit: CBS 2)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A young man ready to join the Navy and fight for his country was gunned down in the Bronx.

Deshawn Coleman, 34, is charged with murder, criminal possession of a weapon and assault in the death of 19-year-old Victor Maldonado, police said.

Maldonado was shot in the torso about a block away from his home on Heath Avenue in Kingsbridge around 10:20 p.m. Monday, police said. He was pronounced dead at Saint Barnabas Hospital.

Maldonado had been trying to break up an argument between two younger girls before the gunfire erupted, sources told CBS 2.

“Something petty, it was nothing serious, he’s not a kid to start trouble,” friend Gigi Solano said.

Investigators said Coleman, the brother of one of the girls, was called downstairs, CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown reported. He then allegedly pulled out a gun and opened fire.

Heartbroken family members said Maldonado dreamed of being in the Navy, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather.

“It’s a tragedy he was a good kid; one of the good ones,” cousin Eric Garces said. “Everybody’s still in shock.”

Maldonado worked hard and stayed out of trouble, helping to take care of his single mother and 15 year old sister, Brown reported.

Neighbors said Maldonado was a role model for those younger than him.

“He would sometimes teach me and my friends a little bit about basketball and stuff,” friend Jeremy Ramirez said.

“He see a problem, he see a fight he would try to get in the middle and be like, ‘You guys don’t have to do it this way, don’t have to fight, you’re from the same neighborhood,’ and this was what he tried to do and this is what happened,” friend Ray Figueroa said.