NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A young man from Jamaica, Queens who has been trying to make it as an aspiring singer has now been left fighting his way back after someone shot him.
As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported, the young man’s mother believes the bullet was intended for someone else.
“The only thing I do is cry every day, and ask the Lord to give my son strength,” the man’s mother said.
She was speaking out in an effort to find the people she called monsters, who shot and gravely injured her son.
She asked that CBS2 identify him only by his nick name — C-Jay — because she fears retaliation in a senseless attack.
“He’s just one lovely man on this earth,” she said.
“It’s killing us. It’s killing us,” C-Jay’s sister added. “We can’t believe this happened to him. Out of everybody, this happened to him. He didn’t deserve this at all.”
C-Jay, 27, walks every night on 158th Street near Beaver Road in Jamaica, Queens, catching an express train to Times Square for professional voice lessons.
But en route to a voice lesson around 7:20 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 2, a gunman shot him in the back of the neck and left him bleeding on the sidewalk.
“We think its mistaken identity, because he doesn’t do anything. He’s a good person,” C-Jay’s sister said.
C-Jay’s sister and mother said he is a singer who lives to make music — never making trouble. They said C-Jay recalls the gunman said he shot the wrong person.
“He was walking and heard them say — one of the guys say, ‘That’s not the guy.’ So the other guy said, ‘Just said shoot him anyway,’” C-Jay’s mother said.
The block of 158th Street in Queens where C-Jay was shot has several surveillance cameras, and C-Jay’s mother says the shooting was captured on one of them. She said three hooded men on the video approached him from behind, opened fire, and ran off.
Police said a frame in the surveillance video shows the shooter. They asked anyone with information to come forward, as C-Jay’s family pleaded for justice.
“They need to catch these people,” C-Jay’s sister said. “What if they do it to somebody else?”
“I have hope. He’s going to pull through this. My son is strong, and he has a big heart,” his mother said.
C-Jay’s singing career was on hold as he remained hospitalized as of Friday – unable to move his legs or speak beyond a whisper. Doctors cannot say whether he will walk or sing again.
Meanwhile, a fundraising website set up by friends has already collected more than $7,000 to help pay C-Jay’s medical bills.