19-year-old Navy enlistee shot dead in the Bronx trying to break up fight
New York Daily News: A Bronx teenager who had just enlisted in the Navy died early Tuesday after he was shot while trying to break up a fight between two girls, police and relatives said.
Victor Maldonado was gunned down by one of the girls’ relatives, an ex-con in his 20s who was arrested shortly after the deadly shooting, police said.
“He was trying to break up a fight with the guy’s sister over some nonsense,” said the slain 19-year-old’s grieving dad, who is also named Victor. “It was something so petty.”
While cops questioned the suspected shooter, Maldonado’s heartbroken mom stood in the rain and wept for her slain son. “He was going to the Navy,” 37-year-old Luz DeJesus sobbed. “He was a peacemaker. He was not in any gangs or anything.”
Standing on the corner of Kingsbridge Rd. and Heath Ave., beside a makeshift memorial for the slain 19-year-old, DeJesus was inconsolable. “I want my son back,” she wailed. “I don’t want to go home without my son!”
Maldonado’s 15-year-old sister, Nayiliana DeJesus, said she lost her “only brother.” “We were close,” she said. “He was my soul. My life was my brother.” Then she broke down crying.
Police, who have not yet charged or identified the alleged gunman, said the tragedy unfolded about 10:20 p.m. Monday in front of an apartment building at 2805 Heath Ave. in Kingsbridge.
Maldonado’s grieving dad said it began over a silly slight. “It was something about courtesy,” Victor Maldonado, 38, said. “One girl was walking out, holding the door for the girl who was walking in.” Not hearing a “Thank you,” the girl who had held the door sarcastically said, “You’re welcome,” he said. Then the other girl “started mouthing off,” he said.
At that moment, Maldonado was heading home from a basketball court, saw the girls squabbling, and intervened when he recognized the girl who had been slighted. “Mind your own business,” the alleged shooter’s sister said, according to Victor Maldonado. “She went upstairs and told her brother.” Minutes later, Maldonado lay mortally wounded on a Bronx street. He died a few hours later, police said.
“I don’t understand,” DeJesus said of the shooter. “Why couldn’t he be a man and just ask my son what happened?” DeJesus said the rude girl who sparked the fight by not saying thank you also has blood on her hands. “They need to take his sister too,” she said of the suspect’s sibling. “She’s the reason why this happened.”
“These kinds of situations are so so sad,” Maldonado’s dad added. “It’s senseless to me. I don’t wish this hurt on anyone. It’s killing me inside.” Victor Maldonado said his slain son was looking forward to his sister’s Sweet 16 party at the end of the month. “That was all he was waiting on,” he said.
According to Riverdale Press:
Ms. Coleman’s brother Deshawn Coleman, 34, who lives on Sedgwick Avenue, and Mr. Maldonado, who lived nearby at 2820 Bailey Ave., got involved and Mr. Coleman fired a single shot to Mr. Maldonado’s torso that left him dead before walking into the lobby and making threatening statements to bystanders, according to Capt. Burke. Mr. Coleman claims to have shot Mr. Maldonado in self-defense, saying the gun belonged to Mr. Maldonado, according to Capt. Burke. Capt. Burke called Mr. Coleman “a real thug,” who has faced 28 arrests related to narcotics, assault and robbery.
Why did this ex-con have a gun? Oh yeah, guess he wasn’t following the law – most states don’t allow convicts to have a firearm.
How tragic that he would shoot someone over such a petty reason. Let’s hope Coleman’s 29th arrest is his last one and that he faces some serious jail time for killing Mr. Maldonado.