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 buddies 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, buddies, coaches, and teammates proud, they usually honored him Monday night time in Harlem and Houston.

St. Raymond Excessive Faculty launched a press release concerning the former pupil’s demise in an Instagram publish:

“We’re heartbroken and devastated to study of the mindless passing of Darius Lee, class of 2018. Our prayers and condolences exit to his household right now, and we pray for his everlasting relaxation with our Lord. Except for being an amazing basketball star, he was an exceptional human being, and a younger man residing such a constructive life, succeeding in class, on the court docket, 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 folks have been shot.

Seven males and two ladies 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 not less than one among them could 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 mentioned. “He determined to remain exterior at some point, and that is what occurs.”

“He was a pure soul. So variety,” mentioned 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 not less than three weapons have been used to fireside dozens of pictures.

They’re nonetheless attempting 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 buddies, and his whole 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.”

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

“As nice of a basketball participant as he was, he was a fair higher individual. I can not even consider basketball proper now. I can solely consider what a light-weight 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 shedding Lee, but additionally railed over one more act of gun violence.

“He was a really high-quality younger man who had a really brilliant future in entrance of him each on and off the court docket. 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’s going to stop, “Moniaci wrote in a press release.

Lee’s influence on the court docket was additionally too exhausting 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 the most effective 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’d count on to turn out 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 count on to turn out 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). It’s also possible to submit suggestions by visiting the CrimeStoppers web site at 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 folks 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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