NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A 17-year-old who just graduated high school was shot and killed overnight in the Bronx.
He’s one of the latest victims of the gun violence across New York City.
There’s still a lot of raw emotion at the home of Brandon Hendricks – anger, frustration and sadness, reported CBS2’s Kevin Rincon. There’s a memorial in the lobby of his building, and a larger one at a nearby basketball court.
There’s overwhelming grief following the death of 17-year-old Brandon Hendricks.
“I just can’t believe this. I really can’t,” said Angela Davis.
Police say Hendricks was shot in the neck outside an apartment building on Davidson Avenue near 176th Street in the Morris Heights section just before midnight on Sunday after some sort of argument. He died at the hospital.
Outside his home, neighbors said he was a good kid who had big dreams of playing basketball.
“It bothers me. It hurts. It’s sad. They need to stop killing each other out here,” said Pat Hargrove.
Hendricks was a strandout Point Guard at Monroe High School in the Bronx. He graduated on Friday and was planning to go to college.
His uncle Noel Ellison is still in disbelief.
“I think we spoke as late as 9:30 last night. And then, two hours later, he was gone. We were talking about all the things he needed to do in preparation for college,” Ellison said.
He called his nephew the real deal, who had been weighing several scholarships from Division 1 colleges. He says Brandon was more than just an athlete.
“We are a family that prides itself on doing right by the community. We’re a spiritual family,” he said.
Ellison hopes to be guided by his faith following this tragedy.
Nigel Thompson got the chance to coach Hendricks for three seasons, and taught him geometry.
“All his mom kept saying to me is, ‘We need to get him out of this neighborhood, we need to get them off to college,” said Thompson. “I never thought about the possibility of him losing his life.
“He really was a wonderful kid. Thoughtful kid. Intelligent,” he added.
But with Brandon’s life cut short, Thompson says it is a reminder of the work we still need to do as a community.
“We have to figure out what’s going on with these young people that gives them such a sense of hopelessness that they would throw out their life, and somebody else away, just like that,” Thompson said.
“We all need to do some soul searching to figure out what we can do better,” a relative said. “Because 17-year-old children should not be dying in the manner in which they are dying.”
“This person who took his life obviously had nothing to really look forward to,” Thompson added. “When you have nothing to look forward to in life, it’s so easy to senseless take somebody else’s life.”
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RIP Diddy ❤️ I have so many fond memories of the short time that I spent with Brandon while he was with us on this Earth. He was a charismatic, humble young man. He listened and respected everyone. He was an awesome team mate. Thoughtful, kind and caring. Full of life and positivity. I’ve never met anyone who had anything bad to say about him. He was a remarkable basketball player. Incredible handle and quickness. He was our leader on and off the floor for the past 2 seasons. Just graduated from HS two days ago. His whole life ahead of him…why did he have to be taken from us so soon? I have so many special memories of Brandon that I’ll treasure for ever. Many of them on the court during our countless hours of practice. Many of them in the games. Win or lose we could always count on him to fight and give his best. Some of my fondest memories of Brandon was not on the court but in my Geometry class. Brandon was so inquisitive and intelligent. His questions, thoughtfulness and summaries always moved the class forward. He would bounce around the class helping his classmate until they got it. His effort in class was equal to his effort on the court…why was he taken away so soon? What can we do as a community and a society to prevent our Princes from killing each other so senselessly? I’m pretty certain that the bullets that took Brandon’s life were not meant for him. He wasn’t that kind of a kid. But those bullets should not have been meant for anyone. We need to find a way to get our young brothers to value not just the lives of others, but to value their lives. Two lives were lost last night. Two families will be devastated, and our hearts will be eternally broken. The senseless violence has to stop. We’ve lost a special part of our family. RIP Brandon. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Coach Thompson
Police said another man in his 40s was shot overnight following a dispute in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He is expected to survive.
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“We haven’t seen this since 1996,” NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan said in a radio interview Sunday. “There are a lot of reasons for it.”
Monahan said there are 1,200 people walking the streets who have been indicted for guns. Another 800 have been arrested for guns, but have not been indicted because the court system isn’t running.
Community leaders are demanding help for the city’s youth.
“This is only going to get worse if we don’t give them an outlet. Put the money in the budget. To the mayor and City Council, let’s get these young people back working, let’s get these centers open and let’s get them something to do,” said community activist Danny Barber.
The NYPD is looking for guidance on how to tackle the increase in violence.
“It is a tough job for the police. We’ve been told by community members, council members, who have the loudest voice, that they don’t want us interacting with people who are shooting off fireworks or drinking on the street,” Monahan said.
“The animosity toward police has just been absolutely unbelievable, and cops are a little confused right now what the communities want them to do, how they want their neighborhoods policed,” he added.
Police reported 63 shootings with 85 victims between June 21 and 28, compared to 26 shootings during the same time last year.