Saturday, August 22, 2009

15-year-old father-to-be shot to death after leaving Brooklyn party

From the Daily News by Sarah Armaghan and Larry Mcshane:
Hundreds of people gathered at the scene where a 15-year-old was shot to death on Euclid Avenue.
Family members are overcome with grief at the scene of the shooting. Nicastro for News

Family members are overcome with grief at the scene of the shooting.
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Craig Shelton loved basketball, church and his pregnant girlfriend. Just 15, he couldn't wait to hold his new baby and talked about someday becoming a pastor.

The Brooklyn teen's dreams died early Saturday on an East New York, Brooklyn, street, where he was shot to death while walking home from a party in a nearby housing project, police said.

Shelton took a bullet to the head when gunfire erupted outside 560 Euclid Ave. at 12:12 a.m., leaving behind his heartbroken girlfriend, devastated grandmother and two younger siblings.

"He was so wonderful, respectful," said a sobbing Iris Gucman, 55, the grandmother who raised Shelton for the past seven years. "He didn't deserve this. He was too young for this."

Shelton was looking forward to September, when he would start his sophomore year at Metropolitan High School and discover the gender of his unborn child.

His girlfriend, 17-year-old Tania Moore, is four months pregnant. The couple had scheduled a Sept. 8 visit to her doctor.

"I don't know what I'll ever say when the time comes, when our baby asks where their daddy is," the anguished teen said. "I won't know what to say. I'm hurting so much right now."

Police made no arrests and offered no motive in the shooting. Shelton's friends said he wasn't feeling well, and they tried to persuade him to head home shortly before the shooting.

Shelton was gunned down across the street from the Cypress Hills Houses as he walked with an unidentified woman, his grandmother said.

"The girl ran off, nobody knows who she is," said Gucman. "He got shot, and he died right there."

His uncle Christian Pellot said the killer targeted Shelton for no apparent reason.

"I don't think the party had anything to do with it," he said. "Whoever it was didn't want to fight him. They chose just to shoot him."

Shelton, who leaves behind a 5-year-old brother and a 6-year-old sister, started dating Moore nearly two years ago. He was excited by the news of her pregnancy.

"He was the most caring boyfriend," Moore said Saturday. "He always made me laugh. Now, I'm really sad."

His grandmother recalled a "loving and caring boy" who escorted her back and forth from the local subway stop.

"He was my heart," said Gucman, crying in the arms of relatives. "Whoever did it took a piece of my heart."

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