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Boy, 14, fatally shot while visiting his old East Harlem neighborhood to say goodbye, police say

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A 14-year-old boy who was visiting East Harlem in New York City to say goodbye to his old neighborhood after his family moved to New Jersey was fatally shot in the head on Tuesday, police said.

The shooting happened just before 4:30 p.m. outside an East Harlem sandwich shop on East 128th Street between Lexington and Park Avenue, New York police said at a news conference Tuesday.

The boy and another teen had briefly entered the sandwich shop, police said. As they left, a volley of shots was fired at them.

They tried to run away, but the 14-year-old, who was identified by police as Justin Streeter, was shot in the head. He was taken to Harlem Hospital in critical condition, where police confirmed he had died early Wednesday morning.

The other boy, 15, was hit in the leg by a bullet as he ran away, police said. Officials said he would recover after a Good Samaritan helped him with his injuries.

The suspect, identified as a man, fled, police said.

There was no immediate information on a possible motive for the shooting, but police said it was believed to have been the target.

A witness told police they knew Streeter and that his family had just moved to New Jersey, NBC New York reported.

The witness, who declined to be identified due to fears for his safety, said the teen had visited the neighborhood to say his final goodbyes.

“They would have moved to New Jersey to start a new life and get out of the ghetto, and they came to say goodbye to their loved ones and friends. Sure enough, it was the last goodbye,” said the witness.

The investigation into the deadly shooting is still ongoing.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to come forward.

“We need your help,” Jeffrey Maddrey, chief of the NYPD patrol, said at an earlier news conference after the shooting happened. “We cannot let this gun violence continue. We cannot allow our young people to become victims of gun violence, so please all the help we can get, I beg this to New York.”

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