On Thursday, nearly a week after a local 22-year-old man was fatally shot in the Belmont section of the Bronx, friends and neighbors gathered at a makeshift memorial in front of 3414 Beaumont Ave., where he had been gunned down. They had piled up dozens of candles, flowers and teddy bears in remembrance of Zulisker Redvetoski, whom they knew as “Zully.” Some left notes bidding him to “rest in peace” and they discussed their longstanding concern about shootings in the neighborhood.
Redvetoski was killed on Friday September 5th around 9 p.m., according to police. He was found with a gunshot wound in his torso on Beaumont Avenue at East 187th Street, and pronounced dead at St Barnabas Hospital. There were no arrests and the investigation is ongoing.
At his wake on Wednesday, friends, relatives, and neighbors flowed continuously in and out of the D’Bari funeral home. There was not one empty seat and many mourners had to stand in the back as scores of people passed by to pay their respects and comfort Redvetoski’s mother.
After the wake, childhood friends and other acquaintances regrouped around the small memorial on Beaumont Avenue. On Thursday, a couple of young men stopped by, wearing large badges around their necks with Redvetoski’s picture on them. “We wear it to show our respect,” one of them said. Zully’s mourners categorically refused to share their names. Some tensely explained that they wanted to avoid trouble.
Redvetoski lived near Freeman Avenue with his mother. Neighbors said he was the father of a baby girl staying with her own mother. They described Redvetoski as “outgoing” and “a nice guy.” According to police, he had been arrested at least nine times for possessing marijuana and once for assault.
One of the slain man’s friends, Chris, said there is “a lot of heat between the blocks” around the neighborhood. He added that another one of his friends, John, met the same fate as Redvetoski two years ago.
Gang feuds have been raging in Belmont for a long time. A 1992 New York Times article reported on that an attack took place at the same street corner more than 20 years ago. In the past year, there have been 14 shooting incidents in the 48th precinct, which covers Belmont. The local community board has listed Belmont as part of an “impact zone” — a high-crime area where extra police are deployed.
Across from the memorial, a man sitting outside one of the buildings, wary about revealing his name, said the disputes usually involve drug trafficking, especially around neighboring Prospect Avenue. A similar case of an unresolved shooting took place at the corner of Prospect Avenue and 187th Street in 2012.
Some residents said that people were moving out of the neighborhood to escape the violence. In the nearby Vincent Ciccarone playground, Italian grandmothers complained about the absence of their children who moved upstate to raise their families in what they consider a safer environment. A young man who passed by the crime scene said he comes to Belmont to visit his mother, but that with the shootings around the area, he preferred to live elsewhere.