A college basketball star was killed and eight other persons were injured in a mass shooting in Harlem, New York while partaking in a music video shoot, NewYork Police say.
The attack happened on Sunday night, June 19 and family members were pictured holding each other in agony Monday, to mourn 21-year-old Darius Lee.
The street was crowded before the shooting. Police said people were out having a barbecue, and a group were also filming a music video when investigators believe some kind of dispute broke out between two rival gangs.
One man said he heard the gunshots as they echoed along the Harlem River Drive and West 139th Street.
“Many in rapid succession. Around 40 or 50 shots in such a short span of time,” he said.
Then he said he saw almost 100 people flee, running like a stampede.
“There was a lot of screaming and running at the same time in all directions,” the witness added. “Some of them almost getting hit by cars.”
Police said a gun was recovered at the scene, but it’s unclear if it was one of the weapons used to carry out the mass shooting.
Darius Lee was one of the nine people shot overnight on Fifth Avenue and 139th Street. The scene was very close to where Lee lived.
His sister heard the shots and instinctually feared the worst.
“She called. He didn’t answer. She called again. He didn’t answer. His best friend called his mom and said, ‘I’m sorry.’ She said ‘Sorry for what?’ He said, ‘I’m sorry, Darius was shot,'” Eric Lee, his brother said to CBS2.
The sister Tiara Weaver said of her brother: “This is something different, Nobody expect that. He don’t curse, don’t hang out, don’t drink, don’t do anything. He just plays PS5 and plays basketball,” Eric Lee said
“We love him. We’re gonna miss him. I don’t know what I’m gonna do. That’s my other half,” Weaver said. “He was never supposed to die, never. My mother is never supposed to bury her kid.”
Darius Lee was a star basketball player at St. Raymond High School for Boys in the Bronx. From there, he got a full ride to Houston Baptist University, and was supposed to graduate in December. He averaged 18.2 points per game as a senior and had one of the most electric performances of the season when he scored 52 points in a quadruple overtime game against McNeese State, the most points scored in a Division I game all season.
His coach at Houston Baptist, Ron Cottrell, said Lee was a great player, but an even better person.
“He was one of those guys everybody loved,” Ron Cottrell said. “He would’ve been probably preseason player of the year going into next year in our conference. [He had] a terrific future ahead of him as a pro player. Just one of those guys you knew the future was bright for. Darius Lee, he was gonna do something special.”
“I hope justice is served and I hope the NYPD do their job and find those people that killed my son,” Eric Lee said.
Police say the other eight shooting victims are expected to survive.
Authorities have not made any arrests as at press time