As the parents of Justin Wilson met with Police Commissioner Dermot Shea on Monday while the NYPD searches for the gunman responsible for taking the life of the 10-year-old, neighbors were still trying to process the killing they said doesn't make any sense.
Friends of Justin's put together a small memorial in his honor outside the Queens home where the boy was shot and killed while at a family barbecue Saturday night. Left there was a shirt that read "Justin for life," along with balloons and a dark green toy dinosaur tied to a fence.
Video shows the gunman arrive in an SUV around 9:30 p.m. at the home on Beach 45th Street in Edgemere, where police said Justin was with his 29-year-old uncle. The shooter stops at the front steps and fires into the house, the video shows, and then takes off.
The 10-year-old was hit in the chest and pronounced dead a short time later at a nearby hospital. His uncle was hit in his shoulder and taken to Jamaica Hospital where he was recovering. Wallace's was downstairs in the home at the time of the shooting.
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"It's happening so often, you're wondering what is going on or hat can be done. It's a sad situation," a neighbor said.
Police said they believe the fight was over a shared driveway, which led to gunfire. Justin was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time.
His family lives several blocks away, a home where Commissioner Shea and Chief of Community Affairs Jeff Maddrey visited on Monday to speak with the family.
"I can't imagine what they are going through. To me, this is the most important thing you do. We are really all in this together as New Yorkers," Shea said.
"We can't lose any more children. Our babies are dying," said Maddrey. "We have to come together as a city and deal with this."
Justin would have turned 11 years old on Tuesday, and was set to graduate from Challenge Prep Charter School Thursday. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio called those stinging milestones for the family, with whom he met over the weekend.
"They went between shock and pain and rage," the mayor said. "They kept saying they need to know that his killer will be found. And I told them yes, the NYPD will find the killer."
That's what those in the neighborhood want., with community activist Andre Davis urging anyone who recognizes the shooter to turn them in.
"It's not snitching, OK? This is a 10-year-old child. Innocent victim," Davis said.
There is a $10,000 reward for any information that leads police to finding Wallace's killer. No arrests have yet been made and the investigation is ongoing.
Justin's death comes amid rising concerns of gun violence affecting children across the city. Hours before the deadly shooting, police say a 12-year-old girl was shot in the ankle in the Mount Eden section of the Bronx. No arrests have been made in that incident either.
“The NYPD has made record numbers of gun arrests this year and we continue to focus with precision policing on precincts with disproportionate gun violence," an NYPD spokesperson said in reaction to recent shootings. "The key to having an effect is for prosecutors and courts to ensure that those arrested with guns see real consequences.”