Gang violence kills innocent college basketball star, police say in Harlem mass shooting

Gang violence kills innocent college basketball star, police say in Harlem mass shooting

HARLEM, Manhattan (VABC) – A 21-year-old college basketball star was killed and eight others shot when a shooting broke out in Harlem.

It is believed that it was a shooting in which an innocent young man was killed.

On Tuesday morning, the family and friends of the man killed at a late-night barbecue spoke as police continued their search for armed men.

College basketball star Darius Lee (21) graduated from St. Raymond in the Bronx. He was due to graduate from Houston Baptist University the following year.

Lee made his family, friends, coaches and teammates proud, and they paid tribute to him on Monday night in Harlem and Houston.

High school St. Raimond posted a statement about the death of the former student in a post on Instagram:

“Our hearts are broken and devastated by learning about the senseless death of Darius Lee, grade 2018. We address our prayers and condolences to his family at this time, and we pray for his eternal rest with our Lord. Apart from being a huge basketball star, he was a phenomenal human being, and a young man who lives such a positive life, succeeds in school, on the field and in life. These senseless acts of violence must stop … such a tragedy. “

He was shot and killed after a shooting broke out on the trail along the Harlem River at around 12:30 on Monday.

Nine people were shot.

Seven men and two women between the ages of 21 and 42 were hit in a park along the East River in the area of ​​Fifth Avenue and East 139th Street.

Two people who were shot have ties to gangs, and at least one of them may have been armed.

Very few surveillance footage was found due to the location of the shooting, across the overpass on the other side of the highway.

WATCH: Where the shooting broke out and where the victims fled

He was specially chosen, according to the announcement of the organizers on Instagram, to avoid the police.

“He is an innocent child,” said Leia’s sister Tiara Weaver. “He decided to stay outside one day and here is what is happening.

“He was a pure soul. So kind,” said his cousin Tylin Lee. “He wasn’t on the street or anything. He was all about basketball. He didn’t deserve any of this.”

Police found a gun on the spot.

Detectives believe at least three guns were used to fire dozens of shots.

They are still trying to determine how much.

There have been no arrests so far and they are seeking public help.

Mayor Eric Adams and the police commissioner are expected to give another update on Tuesday afternoon.

After the shooting, Lee’s coach expressed sadness and confusion over the premature murder of his star.

“Darius was an outstanding young man who loved God, his mother, his family, his teammates, friends and his entire HBU family,” Ron Cotrel, HBU’s head basketball coach, said in a statement. “We are shocked and unable to revolve around this news.

Despite the violent circumstances of Lee’s death, Kotrel added that his student-athlete left a positive legacy behind.

“As much as he was a great basketball player, he was an even better person. I can’t even think of basketball right now. I can only think of how light Darius was during his short time on earth. He was happy. to be a coach and we loved him so much, “Kotrel wrote.

HBU Athletics Director Steve Moniachi not only expressed grief over the loss of Lee, but also criticized another act of violence.

“He was a very nice young man who had a bright future ahead of him both on and off the field. This is, unfortunately, another example of senseless firearms violence that seems to be plaguing our country at the moment and we are all praying for it to stop,” he wrote. is Moniaci in a statement.

The left’s influence on the court was also too difficult to ignore.

Last season, he was the second team in the All-Southland Conference selection after leading Houston Baptist in scoring and jumping. He was also one of the best defenders in the country, taking sixth place in the country in terms of stolen balls per game.

Darius’ father Eric Lee says that his son used to be chubby, not a child you would expect to become a star athlete.

But at the age of 21, Lee earned one basketball scholarship after another and was a star at the university. He was not a young adult who would expect to be a victim of violence.

Anyone with information is asked to call the NIPD Crime Stop Line on 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or the Spanish 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit tips by visiting the CrimeStoppers website at or sending messages on Twitter @NIPDTips.

As of June 20, there have been 277 mass shootings in the United States this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

In 2021, there were 692 mass shootings, in 2020 611, and in 2019 417.
The Arms Violence Archive defines mass shooting as a shooting in which four or more people are injured or killed, not including the perpetrator.

The KTRK sister station in Houston contributed to this report

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