Unique Smith: NYC teen shot dead by masked gunman in crowded park after altercation in broad daylight
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK CITY: A 15-year-old student named Unique Smith was shot dead he engaged in a fist fight with two masked youngsters in a packed Brooklyn park on September 7, 2022.
According to Chief of Detectives James Essig, Smith, a student at Brooklyn Laboratory Charter School, was sitting on a bench in McLaughlin Park with two young females when the attackers approached him wearing ski masks. A fist fight began between them after words were exchanged, according to Essig. The person, who is described as wearing just black clothes and a black mask, took out a gun and shot the victim. Essig reported that Smith was sent to Methodist Hospital in critical condition but died of his injuries in the hospital on Wednesday evening. Following the shooting, the two masked men fled from the park on Tillary Street in the direction of Adams. He estimated that there were at least 30 other people at the park when the incident occurred.
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According to a law enforcement source, the police are investigating the area and looking for footage of the two suspects, including the shooter. Police said that Smith's charter school opened in August hence there was no reason for him to be attacked. However, sources told the New York Post that the boy could have been targeted. Essig urged witnesses to come forward with any information regarding the incident and added that detectives will check with the school to see if any arguments had taken place during the day, adding that the 84th precinct was also questioning two witnesses.
Smith’s grandfather Kenneth Davis said that he is willing to give a $5,000 reward to anyone who turns over the boy’s murderer.
Earlier, Outside the hospital, Davis confirmed that his grandson was undergoing emergency surgery. "He's a great guy. He assists with household chores. He is active. He is only a typical 15-year-old. That is sad,” he told New York Post. Davis was baffled as to why someone would harm his grandchild in this way. Smith lived with his mother, who Davis said, is devastated that her son was not saved after emergency surgery.
Davis remarked, "I just hope we capture these fools who are roaming about with these firearms. It's really awful that so many people are bringing firearms into the neighborhood. Despite their best efforts, the authorities cannot stop the flow of weaponry into the area.”
Two people near the crime scene claimed that they were surprised and saddened by the incident. Michael Foster, 51, said, "I saw them working on the poor kid and from what I could make out, he did not look good. They were pumping his chest and he wasn’t moving on his own. It seemed like his heart wasn’t beating and his color wasn’t good,” Foster also added, "Bullets are flying indiscriminately, and it’s unacceptable."
While 35-year-old Allyson Solomon expressed that the incident has left her flabbergasted. "I’m in mourning. What is happening to the city where a boy who’s just starting out his life gets shot in the chest in the middle of downtown Brooklyn,” Solomon said, adding, "The courts are all around this park. The police are everywhere, court officers everywhere, and someone’s got the nerve to shoot a gun here, in a park where kids play after school? When does it stop?”