A 15-year-old boy from Haiti was shot and killed in front of his sister by a hooded gunman on Friday night in a horrific scene that rocked his Brooklyn neighborhood and served as a grim reminder of a growing number of murders in New York.

The boy, Samuel Joseph, was a sophomore at the High School for Youth and Community Development on the Erasmus Hall campus and one of eight siblings from a family of Haitian immigrants. He was leaving his apartment building on Flatbush Avenue in the Flatbush neighborhood to get something to eat around 5:45 p.m. when he was confronted in the lobby by the gunman.

He was shot in the face, head and chest, and died at a nearby hospital, the police said.

His murder was the latest in an increasingly violent year in New York City, and Brooklyn in particular. As of Feb. 17, there had been 48 murders in the city this year, up from 31 during the same period in 2018.

That increase has been driven mostly by killings in Brooklyn, where there have been at least 15 more murders compared with this point last year.

Surveillance video recovered by the police from nearby businesses showed two young men stopping and speaking to one of Samuel’s sisters in front of their building, Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte, a Democrat whose district includes the neighborhood, said on Saturday.

“His sister was walking down the street, and you can see these two men have a conversation with her and apparently asked where her brother was,” said Ms. Bichotte, who had spoken to one of Samuel’s sisters and watched the video. “One guy stood outside, and one came inside, did the shooting and left.”

No arrests have been made and a motive for the shooting was not immediately clear. Continue reading

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