Long Island teen shot in head

June 16, 2009 5:51:57 PM PDT
Investigators are searching for clues after gunfire wounded a 13-year-old boy at a pickup basketball game in a Long Island park. Suffolk County police say Wilson Batista Jr. suffered a gunshot wound to his head in the shooting just after 8:00 Monday night at Timberline Park in Brentwood.

Investigators said Batista was playing basketball with a group of friends when he was shot.

"Suddenly, four shots rang out, according to witnesses," explained Suffolk County police Detective Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick. He said the teen was sitting out a game on the side of the court when the shots were fired.

Neighbors ran to the basketball court to find the 13-year-old boy down on the ground and surrounded by friends.

Batista was rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

He is a 7th grade student at East Middle School in Brentwood. Counselors were on hand to help students cope.

School officials described Batista as funny and popular.

"He's a funny kid. A little bit of a prankster. Good sense of humor," said spokesman Rich Belyea.

Investigators don't know whether Wilson or one of his friends was the target, or whether the shooter simply aimed randomly at the court.

Fifteen-year-old Brian Garcia lives in the area. He says the park is usually the safest place around to play.

No arrests have been made. Police are asking anyone with information to come forward.

You can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS or the Homicide Squad at 631-852-6392. All calls will be kept confidential.


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