A 16-year-old teen was reportedly killed for his winter coat near his home on the Lower East Side of Manhattan late Friday night, according to the New York Post.
Raphael Ward was front of the DeWitt Reformed Church at 280 Rivington St. about 9 p.m. on Friday when he took one fatal gun shot to the chest from an unidentified gunman. Mortally wounded, Ward walked across the street to a convenience store and told workers that he had been approached by a group of people who had wanted his jacket. The teen was reportedly wearing a Marmot winter parka, which can sell for as much as $600.
The NYPD are currently looking at security-camera video that may have captured the murder. Cynthia Nieves, a friend of Ward’s, told The Post that she had met with him shortly before he was killed. Though he did not explain way, she says Ward told her, “go home.”
Nicholas Ramos, 18, said he and Ward went to get a slice of pizza across from the church, but Ward “stopped to talk to somebody and I went across the street to the pizza place, and that’s when he got shot,” Ramos said.
Here are more details from The Post:
Ramos said he heard several shots, but waited a minute before he ran out to help Ward. The victim was later declared dead at Beth Israel Hospital.
A police source said Ward had one prior arrest in November 2011, for possession of pot and trespassing.
“It’s heartbreaking,” said his lifelong pal Will Claudio, 16. “We’ve been close friends since elementary school at PS 140 and he was always a good student, never in trouble, just a real good kid.”