Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Murdered Popular Teen Mourned

By David Greene

BRONX, NEW YORK, OCTOBER 30- A popular student from Walton High School was shot and killed near St. James Park.

According to police, it was just after 9 p.m. on October 23, when officers responded to a call of a male shot outside of 2622 Jerome Avenue, in the Bedford Park section.

The victim, identified by police as Michael Beltre, 17, of Washington Avenue, had reportedly been shot one time in the face and was pronounced dead at St. Barnabas Hospital.

Friend's say Beltre, a junior at Walton, had arrived in the Bronx just two short years ago from the Dominican Republic.

Police say Beltre was speaking to two individuals just steps away from McDonald's, when one of the two men pulled the gun and shot him.

The following day a large crowd of Beltre's friends were busy setting up a memorial for the young man, when police asked the teens to move it so a store owner could open her nail salon.

The store owner had recently been closed after part of the building's facade collapsed. On this day she would first have to scrub-down the dried blood left on the sidewalk.

At the new vigil, across the street from St. James Park, where Beltre could often be found playing basketball, one young mourner, offered, "He was a sweetheart. He had no enemies, no problems and he loved McDonald's."

Friends can not explain what happened or who did it.

Coincidentally, the morning after Beltre's brutal death, the annual breakfast of the 52nd Precinct Community Council was held just two short blocks from where the teen was shot.

Outgoing Deputy Inspector Joseph Dowling stated, "That's currently under investigation. I was at the scene with the detectives, but I can't give you any details because it's an ongoing investigation."

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