St. Albans shooting kills one teen, injures another

By Christina Santucci

A St. Albans teen was shot and killed in front of his home early Tuesday, and his family believes he might have lived if taken to the hospital sooner.

“They had the ambulance here delaying him so long,” Joan Walters said about her 18-year-old son Tavoy Walters, who was shot once in his right shoulder.

A spokeswoman for the city Fire Department said emergency responders were called to 197th Street near Linden Boulevard at about 1:30 a.m. Two ambulances transported Tavoy Walters and a 22-year-old man, who had been shot in the left buttocks, to the hospital at 1:54 a.m., according to fire officials.

Tavoy Walters was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, and the other man was brought to North Shore University Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition, according to police.

Joan Walters said her son had been sitting on a car in front of his home with two friends when six shots rang out. One of the friends was also shot and another lay flat on the ground beside the car to escape the bullets. Joan Walters said her son told her it was a drive-by shooting.

A spokesman for the NYPD said Tuesday afternoon that there had not yet been any arrests in the shooting.

After he was struck, Tavoy Walters ran into the house and woke up his mother, who got dressed and prepared to take him to the hospital by car.

“I was backing out and by the time I reached right here,” she said, pointing to the end of the driveway, “the police blocked the street and said, ‘The ambulance is on the way. I can’t leave.’ So I didn’t get to take him myself to the hospital.”

Tavoy Walters’ girlfriend, who declined to give her name, said, “He just kept screaming, ‘Get me to the hospital.’”

Joan Walters said that before her son was taken away, a police officer told her the bullet had pierced his lung.

“He said, ‘He’s not going to make it,’” Joan Walters said.

Joan Walters said she would have taken her son to North Shore University Hospital.

At about 10 a.m. Tuesday morning, police re-established a crime scene around the Walters’ home as grief-stricken friends comforted one another in the street. One pleaded to be allowed to lie down in Tavoy Walters’ bed, saying, “He’s not gone.”

Crystal Lark, who said Tavoy Walters was like a brother to her, lit candles decorated with the teen’s nickname, Hamo.

Lark described Walters as outgoing and funny.

“He kept us laughing,” she said.

Tavoy Walters planned to start his senior year at Martin Van Buren High School in the fall, his friends and family said.

“I just remember my child is so good to me,” his mother said.

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