This morning, police identified a suspect in the killing of a 14-year-old boy who was stabbed in the chest after a fight broke out at a party in the Bronx in the early hours of Sunday. The suspect was described as a black male in his late teens or early 20s who goes by the nickname “Shaq.” At the time of the stabbing, he was wearing blue jeans, a red shirt, and a blue du-rag. The police have not made any arrests as of Monday afternoon.
The victim, identified as Justin Fallu by the police, was pronounced dead on arrival at Jacobi Medical Center on Pelham Parkway early Sunday.
Three other teens, also stabbed during the incident, were reported in stable condition at the hospital on Sunday: two 18-year-old men who were stabbed in the chest, and a 17-year-old man who sustained a shoulder wound. Hospital officials declined to comment on their condition on Monday nor state whether the young men had been released. The police declined to comment on whether they were cooperating with the investigation.
The fight broke out around 3 a.m. on Sunday, allegedly after a number of young men were kicked out of the party, according to a resident of the building where the party took place; she asked to remain anonymous. Beginning in an apartment on the first floor, the party spilled out to the sidewalk in front of the building located at 2194 Barnes Avenue in the Pelham Parkway section of the Bronx.
The resident said she went out to walk her dog around 2:30 a.m. and saw young men waiting in the hallway and hanging out in front of the building. The woman said the teens started to run and fight as she made her way back to her apartment, and that her 19-year-old son called 911 after hearing screams in the street.
Another witness recounted events from a different vantage point. “I went to visit a friend around 2 a.m. right across the street, and saw about 20 people in front of the building. I remember thinking they looked really young,” said Kasim William, 19.
An hour later, William and his friend heard noise outside and looked out the window. William said they saw a man lying on the ground at the corner of Barnes Avenue and Pelham Parkway, and another on the ground at the corner of Wallace Avenue and Pelham Parkway.
“Ambulances were arriving, so we didn’t even call 911. It’s crazy to think this would happen in our neighborhood,” William said.
The Pelham Parkway area, patrolled by the 49th precinct, is one of the safest areas in the Bronx. Crime has been dropping steadily in recent years, with a 11.6 per cent drop in violent crimes over the last year, and a 34 per cent drop over the past five years, according to NYPD statistics.
Neighborhood residents gathered behind the police lines on Sunday to discuss the violence and expressed shock.
“It could have been me at that party, I know a lot of people in that street,” said Kofi Sarpong, 16, who lives two blocks away. “This is a nice neighborhood, we’re not used to this.”