Who was Justin Wallace? NYC boy, 10, shot dead days before birthday as gunman opens fire at family
FAR ROCKAWAY, QUEENS, NYC: A 10-year-old boy was killed and his uncle was wounded on Saturday night, June 5, when an assailant opened fire on a home in New York City, authorities said. The child, Justin Wallace, and his uncle, 29, were walking into a building at 342 Beach 45th St in Far Rockaway around 9.30pm when gunfire broke out, according to law enforcement sources. The unfortunate incident took place a few days before Wallace's 11th birthday.
A neighbor revealed that his family was having a cookout around the corner when the shooting started. “They saw a guy pull up in a car and start arguing. They said someone went into the house. After that I guess they were arguing,” the neighbor said. “When I came out he was already in the ambulance. You could see inside the ambulance they were working on him trying to pump,” said another neighbor. “I didn’t know him, I heard he was visiting,” the neighbor said, adding they heard about six gunshots. Cops are now looking for a black SUV.
In the past few months, we have reported many similar incidents. On May 21, 2020, 6-year-old Aiden Leos who was going to his kindergarten with his mother Joanna Cloonan was shot dead. He was in the backseat of his car. It was reported that the incident took place because of some dispute that happened in another car. On May 29, 2021, we reported the death of 9-year-old Trinity Ottoson-Smith, who was shot dead while she was jumping on a trampoline. Another bizarre incident that happened last month was when a 2-year-old Florida girl was accidentally shot by her 3-year-old brother with a loaded gun that a family friend had hidden in a couch
In the June 5 incident, Wallace was shot in the torso and was taken to St John’s Episcopal Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, authorities said. The boy's uncle was treated for a non-life-threatening bullet wound to the shoulder, police said. Albert Wallace and his son, Justin, went to his sister’s house for a barbecue and were about to leave when the shooting began. The motive for the shooting is under investigation and the killer is still at large and unidentified. The New York Police Department shared a security video on Sunday, June 6, that showed a dark-colored SUV driving slowly by the home. Moments later, the gunman, wearing a hooded sweatshirt and mask, is seen walking up to the house and firing up to eight shots from the bottom of the front stoop and then running away.
The tweet read: "WANTED for HOMICIDE: Do you know this guy? On 6/5/21 at approx 9:33 PM, in front of 342 Beach 45 St in Queens, the suspect fired numerous rounds, striking a 29-year-old male & killing a 10-year-old boy. Any info? DM @NYPDTips, or anonymously call them at 800-577-TIPS."
🚨WANTED for HOMICIDE: Do you know this guy? On 6/5/21 at approx 9:33 PM, in front of 342 Beach 45 St in Queens, the suspect fired numerous rounds, striking a 29-year-old male & killing a 10-year-old boy. Any info? DM @NYPDTips, or anonymously call them at 800-577-TIPS. pic.twitter.com/cxp13hqEjI— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) June 6, 2021
In an interview with NY Post, Justin's father Albert Wallace said the shooting may have stemmed from a dispute over a parking space earlier in the evening that involved his nephew, the man who was wounded in the incident. Wallace told the Daily News that he and his son, a sixth-grade student, had been visiting relatives at the home and were at the front door getting ready to leave when the gunfire erupted. "I see my son laid down at the door, curled up," Wallace said. "When I turn him over, I see this puddle of blood. And I’m saying, 'No no no.' And at the time I heard a (sigh), so I don’t know, that could probably be the last breath he takes because he had internal bleeding."
Wallace said that his nephew, who was with Wallace when he was shot dead, had his car parked in the driveway and was unloading it when a male neighbor, whose vehicle was on the street, wanted him to move it as soon as possible. “What happened was my nephew didn’t move the car, he was unloading it and upset the (man)," the dad said. “My nephew was going inside when the guy came running around … and (fired). My nephew was opening the door, my son was inside the door, and he got shot,” Wallace said. Albert's 29-year-old nephew also was struck in the shoulder by a bullet but is expected to survive, according to Wallace and police sources.
Queens Borough president Donovan Richards, who knew the family before the shooting, had one message for the gunman: “turn yourself in.” “This young man, Justin, was 10-years-old, would have been 11 on Tuesday,” Richards said. His family was planning a birthday for him. Today they're planning a funeral because of your recklessness. So all of you out there with these guns, put them down.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio met with Justin's family on Sunday, June 6. He told the boy's parents the shooter would be found and punished. He tweeted: "Justin Wallace’s 11th birthday is just a few short days away. I met with his family and close friends today. The hopes and dreams his parents had for his life...this murder is as enraging as it is sad. We will bring this child’s killer to justice. We will keep our city safe."
Justin Wallace’s 11th birthday is just a few short days away. I met with his family and close friends today. The hopes and dreams his parents had for his life...this murder is as enraging as it is sad.— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) June 7, 2021
We will bring this child’s killer to justice. We will keep our city safe. pic.twitter.com/LZtZAIVFnM