Categorized | Bronx Neighborhoods, Crime

Weeks before graduation, students lose a classmate

Additional reporting by Sam Fellman

Just 19 days away from graduation, the senior class at the St. Raymond High School for Boys in the Castle Hill section of The Bronx was mourning on Monday the loss of classmate Jonathan Torres, 18, who was fatally shot on Friday shortly before 6 p.m.

Students are dismissed from St. Raymond School for Boys in Castle Hill (Photo by: Sonia Dasgupta/The Bronx Ink)

Students are dismissed from St. Raymond School for Boys in Castle Hill (Photo by: Sonia Dasgupta/The Bronx Ink)

Torres, of Highbridge, was with a 20-year-old companion when they were gunned down in front of 3451 Delavall Ave., near Hollers Avenue, in Edenwald. The second victim is listed as being in critical but stable condition at Jacobi Hospital.

Students learned of the shooting quickly and many received word in the early morning hours of Saturday.
Fran Davies, a spokeswoman with the superintendent of school for the Archdiocese of New York, which oversees the school, said the school provided students with grief counselors Monday.

“Our thoughts are with the family and his friends,” Davies said. Although some students gathered over the weekend at the school, on Monday morning the school held a prayer service in honor of Torres.

Senior Jonathan Brown said students were in shock over the shooting. “It’s very hurtful,” Brown said, “and there are no words to express how you feel when you lose a classmate.”

Brown said he and others wrote prayers and thoughts in a book to be presented to Torres’ mother.

“He was a funny kid that could always make you laugh,” Brown added. “He had progressed over the years and showed a lot of dedication.”

Christian Jorge, another one of Torres’ classmates, said the whole situation was upsetting. “It’s going to be a hard last month,” Jorge said. “I knew him for the last four years.”

Jorge described Torres as a bit of a class clown but someone many turned to for encouragement. Torres didn’t play sports, but he was still involved at the school.

“Although we all have our faults, he wasn’t a troublemaker,” Jorge said when asked about the circumstances surrounding the shooting. “I think he was just there at the wrong time.”

The cause of the shooting was unknown on Monday. A police officer, who declined to give a name citing the ongoing investigation, said the two victims were in Edenwald to pick up a motorcycle for an auto shop. They were shot in front of a marble and granite business. A police spokesperson said no arrests have been made and declined to comment further on the investigation.

Officials who work at Torres’ school declined to comment and his family could not be reached.

Students said the school will allow seniors to attend the funeral at St. Peter and Paul’s Church in Melrose on Thursday. The Mass will begin at 8:30 am.

“This wasn’t the way we wanted to end our year,” Jorge said. “This morning they read an excerpt from a letter he wrote in which he talks about going to college and starting a family.”

4 Responses to “Weeks before graduation, students lose a classmate”

  1. avatar Kenneth English says:

    Dear Mr. Fellman,
    My name is Kenneth English and I am the Literacy Director for the New York Public Library. I had the previlage to work with Jonathan for the last two years. He worked as a computer page in our adult literacy programs in the Bronx. Jonathan was dedicated to helping adults improve their lives through developing reading, writing and computer skills. He was always welcoming, friendly, patient and a joy to be around. He was a model employee who radiated happiness. He helped support his family by working hard, and like many responsible young men, worked for what he wanted. He saved diligently to buy a motorcycle. On the day he went to pick it up his dream, and the promise of a lifetime of potential, was taken with a senseless act of violence. It’s shocking to think of how someone could be so callous as to shoot two innocent young men over a hunk of metal and I imagine feel no remorse.
    Jonathan will certainly be missed at The New York Public Library Centers for Reading and Writing. He touched many lives in his short time on earth. I hope his family and those who knew him take some comfort in knowing that he was a positive influence who made a difference. His spirit makes me want to do my best to honor a life and a young man who quietly went about the business of being a good guy.

  2. avatar Lourdes Roman says:

    I would like To Thank the students at St Raymond’s for their kind and special words. I would like to say to Jonathan Torres you will always be in my heart. Loving you always your aunt Lourdes

  3. avatar Nelson Roman says:

    I would like to thank everyone from St Raymond’s for what they had to say and for showing up at the viewing. My cousin was someone I looked up to. He is someone that was important to me. And i will always miss him and love him. I love you Jonathan your loving cousin Nelson.

  4. avatar angelique olmo says:

    i knew him since i was a kid he was funny and i lost touch after moving to florida but when i heard i couldnt believe it i still cant its like just yesterday he was riding round doin tricks on his bike.


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