Gang violence killed harmless school basketball star Darius Lee, police say in Harlem mass taking pictures

HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) – A 21-year-old school basketball star was killed and eight others shot when gunfire erupted in Harlem.

It is believed that it was a gang shootout that left an harmless younger man lifeless.

Tuesday morning, household and pals of the person killed on the late-night BBQ spoke out as police continued trying to find the gunmen.

School basketball star Darius Lee, 21, was a 2018 graduate of St. Raymond Excessive Faculty within the Bronx. He was set to graduate from Houston Baptist College subsequent yr.

Lee made his household, pals, coaches, and teammates proud, they usually honored him Monday night time in Harlem and Houston.

St. Raymond Excessive Faculty launched a press release in regards to the former pupil’s loss of life in an Instagram publish:

“We’re heartbroken and devastated to be taught of the mindless passing of Darius Lee, class of 2018. Our prayers and condolences exit to his household presently, and we pray for his everlasting relaxation with our Lord. Except for being an incredible basketball star, he was an outstanding human being, and a younger man dwelling such a constructive life, succeeding at school, on the courtroom, and in life. These mindless acts of violence have to cease … such a tragedy. “

He was shot and killed after gunfire erupted at a cookout alongside the Harlem River drive round 12:30 am Monday.

9 individuals have been shot.

Seven males and two girls ranging in age from 21 to 42 have been struck in a park alongside the East River within the space of ​​Fifth Avenue and East 139th Avenue.

Two of the individuals who have been shot have gang ties, and no less than one in every of them might have been a gunman.

Little or no surveillance video has been recovered because of the location of the gunfire, throughout from an overpass on the opposite aspect of the freeway.

WATCH: The place the gunfire erupted and the place the victims fled

It was particularly chosen, based on the organizer’s Instagram publish, to evade police.

“He is an harmless child,” Lee’s sister Tiara Weaver stated. “He determined to remain exterior someday, and that is what occurs.”

“He was a pure soul. So form,” stated his cousin Thailyn Lee. “Wasn’t into the streets or nothing. He was all about basketball. He did not deserve none of this.”

Police recovered one gun from the scene.

Detectives consider no less than three weapons have been used to fireplace dozens of photographs.

They’re nonetheless making an attempt to find out what number of.

Thus far, there have been no arrests they usually’re asking for the general public’s assist.

Mayor Eric Adams and the police commissioner are anticipated to supply one other replace Tuesday afternoon.

Within the wake of the taking pictures, Lee’s coach expressed grief and confusion over his star’s premature killing.

“Darius was a exceptional younger man who cherished the Lord, his mother, his household, his teammates, his pals, and his complete HBU household,” Ron Cottrell, HBU’s head males’s basketball coach, wrote in a press release. “We’re in shock and can’t wrap our heads round this information.”

Despite the violent circumstance of Lee’s loss of life, Cottrell added that his student-athlete left a constructive legacy behind.

“As nice of a basketball participant as he was, he was an excellent higher individual. I am unable to even consider basketball proper now. I can solely consider what a lightweight Darius was throughout his brief time on earth. He was a pleasure to educate and we cherished him a lot, “Cottrell wrote.

HBU’s director of athletics, Steve Moniaci, not solely expressed sorrow over dropping Lee, but additionally railed over yet one more act of gun violence.

“He was a really high-quality younger man who had a really shiny future in entrance of him each on and off the courtroom. That is sadly, but once more, one other instance of the mindless gun violence that appears to be plaguing our nation proper now and all of us pray it can stop, “Moniaci wrote in a press release.

Lee’s impression on the courtroom was additionally too laborious to disregard.

This previous season, he was a second-team All-Southland Convention choice after main Houston Baptist in scoring and rebounding. He was additionally among the best defenders within the nation, ending sixth within the nation in steals per sport.

Darius’ father Eric Lee says his son was as soon as chubby and never a child you’ll anticipate to grow to be a star athlete.

However by 21 years outdated, Lee had earned one basketball scholarship after one other and was a star on the college. He was not a younger grownup anybody would anticipate to grow to be a sufferer of gun violence.

Anybody with info is requested to name the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You may as well submit ideas by visiting the CrimeStoppers web site at crimestoppers.nypdonline.org or by messaging on Twitter @NYPDTips.

As of June 20, there have been 277 mass shootings within the US this yr, based on Gun Violence Archive.

There have been 692 mass shootings in 2021, 611 in 2020, and 417 in 2019.
Gun Violence Archive defines a mass taking pictures as a taking pictures with 4 or extra individuals injured or killed, not together with the perpetrator.

Sister station KTRK in Houston contributed to this report

ALSO READ Three members of the identical household killed in Queens hearth

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