Monday, October 21, 2013

Man Gunned Down on His Birthday

Came Back to Bx to Celebrate Will Leave in a Coffin
(Photo by David Greene)

By David Greene

BRONX, NEW YORK, OCTOBER 21- A young man returning to his old neighborhood of Morrisania to celebrate his 29th birthday with family and friends, was gunned-down outside of the John Adams Houses.

Police sources say two men in their 20's were outside of 680 Tinton Avenue, when they were approached by two assailants and gunfire erupted at  6:08 p.m. on October 18.

One detective stated, "Two male Blacks walked up (on the two victims) and started shooting and left the location." The two men were shot at the entrance to the building.

A second source stated the two suspects calmly walked north on Tinton towards Westchester Avenue and the Jackson Avenue subway station.

One victim in his 20's was shot in the chest and died on the way to Lincoln Hospital. The second victim, also in his 20's was shot in the leg and was recovering at the same hospital.

Police would later identify the victim as Tyrek Singleton, 28, of the Bronx.

However, family and friends of Singleton stated that the young man had moved to Pottstown, PA.

A longtime friend clarified, stating, "He had gotten out of the neighborhood and was living in Pennsylvania, but he came back to celebrate his birthday. He's going to be 29..."

The distraught friend who declined to give his name, and only referred to Singleton by his street name, "S.P.," thought for a second before correcting himself, adding, "He was going to be 29 tomorrow, I can't believe this."

Friends say Singleton was a construction worker who loved to play basketball.

Officers from the 40th Precinct closed-off the main entrance to the building and the complex's courtyard and adjoining park as investigators combed the area for shell-casings and other evidence.

Police were looking for the two suspects, both described as male Blacks in their 20's. One suspect, a skinny male, wearing a white hooded jacket and blue jeans. The second assailant was wearing a gray hooded jacket and dark jeans.

Investigators say both men are still being sought and are both believed to be between 5 foot 8 and 5 foot 9.

Answering the door to the family home on E. 152 Street, Singleton's niece Lavasia Burnett, 18, stated while choking back tears, "There's no reason why he's here celebrating his birthday and we have to identify his body."

Hours after the killing a patrol car was still stationed outside the building, when a man from the church across the street asked the officer if he could move his car, as a wedding party was about to exit the church.

When the officer replied that he could not, church officials moved a bus in front of the church, blocking the view of the police car.

The police presence would remain for the immediate future as police sources say that officers from the 40th Precinct and Public Service Area 7, which covers New York City Housing Authority property, were said to be on a heightened alert for retaliatory violence.

The New York City Housing Authority has reportedly been sitting on more than $40 million in taxpayer money for the instillation of surveillance cameras at complex's such as the John Adams Houses.

The immediate area surrounding the John Adams Houses has been a longtime magnet for mayhem.

Back on July 5, Jamal Davis, 33, was fatally shot on the basketball courts at 975 Tinton Avenue.

On July 20, a second unidentified man was shot in the chest and back along Tinton Avenue, but survived. Police continue to hunt for the killers of both Davis and now Singleton.   

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