Unique Smith, 15, Dies After Shooting in Brooklyn Park
Unique Smith, a 15-year-old boy, died on Wednesday, September 7th following a violent altercation. According to reports, Smith, a Brooklyn Lab Charter School student, was seated in McLaughlin Park with two of his friends when two men in ski masks approached them.
It is reported that Smith and the masked men had an exchange of words that escalated into an altercation before one of the suspects pulled out a gun and shot Smith once. The masked men ran off on Tillary Street, leaving Smith critically injured. Smith was taken to Methodist Hospital where he underwent surgery. Unfortunately, he succumbed to his injuries.
“Words were exchanged and a fist fight ensued,” Chief of Detectives James Essig said at a press conference. “The male – who is described as wearing all black and a black mask – removed a firearm firing one time and striking our victim.” According to Essig, there were at least 30 other people in the park at the time the crime was committed.
At the time of reporting, the police are unaware of the motive for the shooting. They are searching for the suspects as well as looking for video footage of the incident. Reports indicate police questioned two witnesses and called on any other witnesses with information to step forward.
Kenneth Davis, the victim’s grandfather, offered a $5,000 reward to anyone who could provide information on who the shooter was. He added how heartbroken Unique’s mother was. “They’re falling apart,” he said about the mother and other relatives. “He’s a terrific young man,” Davis said about Smith. “He helps around the house. He’s energetic. He’s just an average 15-year-old. It’s sad.
More Insight on Unique Smith’s Death…
The NYC School Safety Coalition released a statement on the tragic incident. “The New York City School Safety Coalition is deeply saddened by the tragic after-school shooting of Unique Smith who attended Brooklyn Lab Charter School.
The shooting occurred downtown Brooklyn at McLaughlin Park. Brooklyn Lab Charter School began their school year in August. We extend our heartfelt, deepest condolences to the family of Unique Smith.
The NYC School Safety Coalition cares for and advocates for all New York City students. Every parent sends their child to school and expects them to return home to them,” the statement read.
Some parents expressed their feelings about Smith’s tragic death and the ever-present crime that affects the city.
“My heart breaks for Unique’s mom. I know how she is feeling. My 17-year-old son, Brandon, was fatally shot in a Bronx park. Violence has no place in our schools, our parks, our streets, and our communities. As children return to school, their lives must be free from chaos. No one should feel threatened to leave their homes because of senseless gun violence. We expect a safe place for our youth to grow. Criminals must be held accountable for their actions; the violence must end now. Politicians do not care. Governor Hochul and Carl Heastie do not care. They don’t have to worry if their children will return home. We need more police officers on our streets and more School Safety Agents in our schools. No mother should be sick with worry if her child is going to return home,” Eve Hendricks, a parent, said.
Still on the News…
“As a parent, I know that safety is first and paramount on our minds. My condolences to the family. As NYC schools embark on a new school year, not even 24 hours before we start, a child has been lost. A 15-year-old young man has lost his life outside of a park that is located adjacent to a New York City public high school and a couple of blocks from his charter school. People need to support and uplift School Safety Agents because they called in the shooting and rendered aid to this young man until emergency services could respond, all while placing Westinghouse high school on a shelter-in to protect the staff. Once again, support school safety as we try to keep our young people safe from the unsafe conditions that surround our schools,” said Quiann Simpkins, a parent and School Safety Agent.
“NYC must ensure schools and their surroundings become safe havens for students, devoid of weapons, hate, and violence. Safety is not a luxury; it is a necessity. My heart breaks for the victim’s family and friends. May he live on in the heart of our city as we honor his legacy by effecting change,” said Robin Paul Kelleher, public school parent, and Community Education Council District 2, School Safety Committee Co-Chair.
Detectives are interviewing students and investigating possible motives for the fatal interaction. There have not been any arrests and the investigation is ongoing.