(New York) - The Lower East Side is mourning the death of a young, bright athlete who was gunned down near his Baruch Housing Projects on Friday, January 4 - making him New York City's first homicide victim of 2013. Raphael Ward, 16, (Facebook: BloccBoy Tokyo) was en route a local pizza shop with friend Nicholas Ramos, 18, when he stopped to talk to some guys from the area. Nicholas carried on, only to hear shots a few minutes later. Ward, who was shot one time in the chest in front of a church, stumbled into a local deli. He was pronounced dead at Beth Israel Hospital.
"Someone was trying to take his coat, but didn't get it."
Ward may have anticipated his grisly death, telling friend Cynthia Nieves, 14, who had just met up with him to 'go home'.
A stand out baseball player, Ward noted on his Facebook:
Friends mentioned that Ward's on-going battle with some neighborhood hoodlums may be the cause of his death, others mentioned that his $600 Marmot coat was the trigger.
According to witnesses, the gunman appeared to be 5' 6" weighing between 120-140 lbs.
Reporters stopped by his home late Friday to speak with his mother about the tragedy, but she was too distraught to talk, as expected. Ward resided with his mom and 7 year old brother in the housing unit.
MommyNoire: Are parents endangering their children's lives by purchasing expensive clothing and footwear?
Words: Kay Konnect