What to Know
- Friends and classmates gathered to mourn a 16-year-old boy shot dead on a basketball court in Brooklyn
- Timothy Oyebola, of Queens, was shot in the head while playing basketball on a court in Brownsville after school last Friday
- Police believe he was an unintended target and are still looking for the suspects
The steadily falling rain seemed fitting for the vigil on a Brooklyn playground mourning the teenage boy killed by a stray bullet while playing basketball after school last week.
Basketballs, balloons and candles defied the blustery weather Tuesday at Chester Playground in Brownsville, where 16-year-old Timothy Oyebola of Queens was shot and killed Friday. Timi, as friends called him, was a bystander in a shooting meant to target someone else, police have said.
Classmates and friends showed up Tuesday, writing their condolences for the slain teen.
"I didn't believe it," said friend Andre Jean. "He stayed out of trouble. He didn't do anything, you know."
"I couldn't eat. I didn't sleep. And I cried all night," another friend named Jalen said.
The 11th-grader already had scholarships on offer, and he lived for basketball.
"It would be freezing cold, he'd still have a bubble coat on with shorts, playing ball by himself," said Jean.
One mother at the vigil never met Oyebola but said his killing struck a nerve.
"Just look at that, you take a child from his mother," said Beatrice Ugbogbo. "The child came here to play, it's called a playground. Not a war zone."
Leaders and teens are calling on the community Tuesday to speak and share what they know with police to catch Oyebola's killer.
"He didn't deserve this. It really hurts that he's gone," said Jalen.
His father told News 4 last week that Oyebola was "highly intelligent, God-fearing… very focused. He loved basketball... They cut his life short. They cut his life short."
16-year-old boy shot dead on a basketball court in Brooklyn was a “highly intelligent” kid who loved the sport, his father said.
"He was a really good kid," NYPD Chief Michael Kemper said Friday. "This is a very unfortunate act."
Timothy’s father said he’d asked him to stop playing basketball: "'What are you getting from it?'" he recalled asking his son.
But the honor-roll student said he didn’t want to give up the sport.
"'No, no, I love basketball, dad, I will not disappoint you. I am good in my academics,'" his father recalled Timothy saying.