NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A popular Bronx teen was shot to death over the weekend — his family left mourning.
As loved ones grieved, on Monday police were looking for a group of men the teen encountered before the shots were fired.
As CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, people who knew 19-year-old Joseph Jimenez said he had big dreams. He wore the number ‘1’ for his high school basketball team and had dreams of going pro.
Jochelle Rodriguez is a cousin of Jimenez’s girlfriend, and was a close friend of the slain teen.
“I was telling him to do interns and to be focused with school and work and stay out of trouble, and he promised me he was going to do all that. It’s just not fair,” she said.
Jimenez had been dating Chelsea Firas for two years and was heading to her home on Walton Ave around 11:30 p.m. Saturday.
Police said a witness saw four men approach Jimenez and open fire — striking him in the head, shoulder, and hand. Authorities are not sure if he was the intended target.
Friends can’t believe anyone would want to hurt him.
“He was just full of life,” Emperatriz Osorio said. “Any room he was in he’ll shine. He never had problems with no one.”
Jimenez’s girlfriend was too distraught to speak on camera, but told CBS2’s Sanchez that her boyfriend didn’t have any enemies.
She said she found out about his death when he didn’t show up at her house or respond to her texts. When she walked towards his home she found police blocking the crime scene.
“She asked the cops what was going on and stuff, and they asked for his name and they took her down to the precinct, and that’s when everything came out,” Rodriguez said.
The tragedy has touched Jimenez’s close knit neighborhood, a growing memorial outside of his home stands as a measure of how much he was loved.
“For someone to come in here and take someone else’s life and think we ain’t gonna get justice? Oh no. I’m getting justice for my best friend,” Jocelyn Esquilin said.
Police said they are reviewing surveillance video in hopes of catching the men who took the future away from such a promising young man.