How did Darius Lee die? NYC basketballer's dad calls son, 21, 'victim of the streets'
A college hoops standout from Harlem, 21-year-old Darius Lee, was shot dead early on Monday, June 20, in a mass shooting in which he was not the target. “My son always said he wanted to be on TV. He got his wish but in the wrong way,” his father Eric Lee, 50, told New York Post. “He got it all right here. He got his wish. A victim of the streets.”
Darius Lee was pronounced dead at Lincoln Medical Center, The Post reported. During the late-night gathering on Monday, Lee was one of nine victims shot near East 139th Street and Fifth Avenue. He was lacing up for Houston Baptist University in Texas.
Eric Lee recalled how Lee's mother heard shots being fired out in the park and desperately tried to reach her son. "She heard the shots, she called and he didn’t answer. She called him again and he didn’t answer,” Eric Lee said. “His best friend called his mom and said ‘I’m sorry.’ She said ‘sorry for what?’ He said ‘I’m sorry, Darius was shot.’" Before receiving the devastating news, his mother scoured the neighborhood.
Coaches, teammates, family, and friends are gathering to mourn the promising college basketball player at William McCray Playground. No suspects in the shooting are in custody, and police have yet to find a motive. Lee's high school basketball coach at St. Raymond High School for Boys in the Bronx has planned to immortalize Lee, who wore No. 42 in college. "
Eric Lee spoke up on how his son had a full scholarship to play basketball. “He was on his way,” Eric said. "This one hit a little different. This is something different that nobody expected. The guy don’t curse. He don’t hang out. He don’t drink. He don’t do anything. He just play PS5 and play basketball. This gun violence is just ridiculous. It has to stop. Innocent bystanders. Innocent. He didn’t deserve this.”
Eric went on to slam Mayor Eric Adams, claiming that since he took office this year, gun violence has only gotten worse. “Do your job. This gun violence has gotten ridiculous since he came in office. This is ridiculous. Do your job,” Eric said of the mayor. “It’s bad out here,” he added. “These little kids are not playing.”
“I hope justice is served," he said in a message to the killer. In a 1010 WINS interview on Monday, June 20, Adams said that he was in Harlem until 2 am following the shooting. “We are going to continue to zero in on removing guns off the street. We have removed over 3,000 guns thus far. We’re going to continue to go after those shooters,” Adams said, according to a transcript posted on the city’s website. “And I’m happy to hear that the court system is picking up some of these cases, but we have to move even further to ensure dangerous people go to trial and the determination if they are guilty, they serve time. We’re going to do our job as the police department, but we need our partners in the criminal justice system to help us.”