NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A 16-year-old boy was shot to death Sunday in Brooklyn.

It happened shortly before 5 p.m. near Blake Avenue and Pine Street in East New York.

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Witnesses told CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge it started with some kind of dispute. They said the victim went into a bodega, came out, and then someone pulled a gun and shot him in the torso. He ran across the street where he collapsed.

Relatives identified him as Justin Richey and said he just celebrated his 16th birthday the day before.

His friends said he was a funny guy who worked a lot of odd jobs, like doing yardwork, to help his mom and siblings. He may have been doing a cleaning job before he was shot, Duddridge reported.

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“The reason that he was working so hard was to take care of his family,” friend Decory Peele said. “He would like clean up, walk dogs. He just did anything anybody asked him.”

“When we see each other, he’d talk,  tell us how he’s trying to make it out of the hood and trying to survive,” another friend added.

“Total disbelief about what happened, about our friend,” said friend Amario Walcott.

“I heard a police commotion, I heard the ambulance. So I walked down to see what was going on,” a neighbor said. “It’s alarming, especially for this neighborhood. I know it’s the 75th Precinct and I know crime is high, especially in East New York.”

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Police said the shooter took off running toward the Cypress Hills houses. He was last seen wearing a red shirt and gray sweatpants.