LONGWOOD, the Bronx (PIX11) — Two teen boys were shot while leaving a Police Athletic League center in Longwood Thursday night, including a 15-year-old who died after he was struck in the head, authorities said.
The victims had just left the recreational space on Longwood Avenue near Fox Street around 9 p.m. when they came under fire, officials said. Josue Lopez-Ortega, a 15-year-old Bronx resident, was shot in the head, while the other victim, 16, was hit in the leg, police said.
First responders rushed both teens to a hospital. Lopez-Ortega was hospitalized in critical condition, but police announced that he died on Friday. The 16-year-old was listed in what authorities described as stable condition.
So far, no arrests have been made. Investigators believe that the incident was a targeted attack in retaliation for a prior dispute, NYPD officials said.
A single shooter was seen fleeing on foot, and two shell casings were recovered at the scene, police said. A physical description of the suspect was not immediately available.
The assault was the latest instance of gun violence connected to teens in the city this week. On Wednesday, a 13-year-old boy allegedly shot two fellow teens, 14 and 16, near a Queens school, according to authorities. And the day prior, a 16-year-old boy was arrested for allegedly shooting an NYPD officer in the Bronx, officials said.
“Too many young people have too many guns in their hands, and our job is to create a pathway to stop that,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams.
NYPD statistics show shootings involving teens are up about 30% citywide.
“What definitely didn’t make it better was when the ghost guns arrived, wherever they came from. That makes it easier for young kids to obtain guns. It’s not traceable,” said Marisol Rivera, who works to prevent youth violence with Save Our Streets Bronx.
Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).