A teenage NYC school staffer died a day after he was shot in the head about a block away from an elementary school where he had been teaching, police said, and the suspect has been charged with murder.
Ethan Holder worked as a teacher’s assistant at PS 203. The 19-year-old and was walking home Tuesday along Avenue M toward Utica Avenue in Flatlands just before 3 pm when another teen fired at him four times from across the street, according to police . One of the bullets struck him in the head.
Holder crawled into a corner deli and collapsed, laying face up until EMS arrived. He was rushed to Brookdale Hospital, where he died Wednesday. Police said that while the motive for the shooting was not immediately clear, they believe Holder was targeted. No words were exchanged before the shots were fired, police said.
The gunman took off from the scene, but police sources said that 19-year-old Javier Oates was being questioned Wednesday when he confessed to the shooting. The Bath Beach resident faces murder and weapons charges, according to police.
Holder had just started working at the school in September, neighbors said. Police sources told NBC New York that the shooting occurred in gang territory, but added that Holder was not part of any gang. Police said he did not have a criminal record.
In a statement, NYC Schools Chancellor said he was “heartbroken that one of our dedicated employees was senselessly made victim to random gun violence,” and said he has been in touch with the principal at PS 203 to make sure the students get counseling.
A single bullet hole could be seen at the deli the teen stumbled into, along with shattered glass. The neighborhood was left shaken after the incident.
“You don’t even know what to say anymore. A 19-year-old, working. This one is working. I mean, he was doing the right thing,” said City Councilwoman Mercedes Narcisse.