Slain Queens boy was just days away from his birthday

Justin Wallace

FAR ROCKAWAY, Queens — Heartbroken family members stopped birthday plans for their 10-year-old son after he was gunned down in a Far Rockaway shooting on Saturday night.

Now, just days from what would have been Justin Wallace’s 11th birthday, his family is planning his funeral. He was killed by a gunshot to the torso. His uncle, who is expected to survive, was shot in the shoulder as the pair entered a Queens home on Beach 45 Street around 9:30 p.m.

Surveillance video shows a gunman walk up to the home and fire at least eight shots.

Wallace was remembered as a fun boy who was full of life. A neighbor who watched him grow up remembered him ride his bike up and down the block.

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, who knew the family before the shooting, had one message for the gunman: “turn yourself in.”

“This young man, Justin, was 10-years-old, would have been 11 on Tuesday,” Richards said. His family was planning a birthday for him. Today they’re planning a funeral because of your recklessness. So all of you out there with these guns, put them down.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio met with Wallace’s family on Sunday. He told the boy’s parents the shooter would be found and punished.

“Justin Wallace should be alive right now,” de Blasio tweeted Sunday. “He’s dead because of a coward’s act. He had his entire life ahead of him. It’s a profound injustice. His killer will be brought to justice. To his family: your city shares your anger, it shares your sadness. We mourn with you.”

There were 594 shooting incidents with 678 victims in New York City so far this year, according to NYPD data. At this point in 2020, there had been 352 shootings with 402 victims.

Six shootings were reported on Saturday.

Detectives were back at the home on Sunday. They interviewed people at the home and looked for any clues that could lead them to Wallace’s killer. Bullet holes could be seen in the door.

No arrests have been made.

Several area residents told PIX11 the shooting stemmed from a dispute among neighbors. Police said they do not believe Wallace was the intended target.

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).

Editor’s Note: Due to conflicting statements about the injured 29-year-old man’s relationship to Justin Wallace, this article has been updated to only identify him as a family member.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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