YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Crowds of mourners flocked to a Yonkers church Thursday to pay their respects to a promising baseball prospect who died after being wounded in a drive-by shooting.
Michael Nolan was shot in the head and arm while standing near his car outside the Burger King on Central Avenue around 12:30 a.m. on Sept. 18, police said. The 23-year-old died from his injuries Oct. 9.
Authorities said the suspect fired the shots from a moving vehicle. Though the investigation is ongoing, police initially indicated that drag racing may have played a role in the motive for the shooting.
“This is not a random shooting,” Yonkers police Chief Charles Garner said at the time.
Nolan, a 6-foot-8 left-handed pitcher, was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 18th round of the 2014 baseball draft, but never pitched in a minor league game.
“Senseless, senseless killing,” said family friend Bernadette McLaughlin, who was among those to attend Nolan’s funeral at St. Paul the Apostle Church.
“It had to be a coward who would do this, just a miserable coward,” she told WCBS 880’s Stephanie Colombini. “It’ll come back to him.”
Joseph Bolognese, sported an A’s cap to remember the opportunity his neighbor could have had.
“I’m going to support him as long as the hat survives,” he said. “Once this one’s done, I’ll buy another one and keep buying them, in memory of Mike.”
London Reyes, who coached Nolan’s summer basketball team when he was younger, said the diverse crowd at the service shows just how loved Nolan was.
“From young to old, from light to dark, from English to Spanish, the effect that he had on the community,” he said.
In a statement last week, Athletics general manager David Forst said: “On behalf of the entire A’s organization, I send my deepest condolences to Donna and Jimmy Nolan. Michael will always be a member of the A’s family, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends for their tragic loss.”
So far, no arrest has been made in the shooting. Yonkers police are offering a $5,000 reward in the case.