The shooting happened late Monday in Elizabeth, and police are still searching for the gunman.
John Davis, 17, had an extended family that encouraged him to make wise decisions for his life.
"He wanted to, he wanted to. He was pushed in the right direction, and got caught out there," Jacquetta Basket-Spinks, his half-sister, said.
Someone opened fire on Davis and 14 year old Jaquan Manning as the 2 friends stood outside a corner deli at Anna and Henry streets on Monday night at 10:30 p.m.
"I was sitting right here, I heard some shots. I went in the store. I didn't see him. When I came out, he was laying down," Jesse Lewis said.
Davis' half sister was home a half a block away. She ran to the corner and found Davis down and struggling to breathe.
"I told him to breath. He did a couple of times. I asked if he could hear me. He kind of shook his head. I told him to ask God to help you," she explained.
Davis died. Manning was shot in the leg, and will be okay. The prosecutor's office says it's the fatal second shooting in this same area in less than a week.
"I'm not saying there's any relation to the two homicides, but there are problems. It's a high crime area," Union County First Asst. Prosecutor Albert Cernadas said.
Some say trouble here too easily found, especially with the teens.
Davis' family says he was trying to do better. He was even working a part time job.
"He was a good kid. My mom stayed on his case about coming home at a certain time, and he was on his way home," Basket-Spinks said.
Manning, who lives on Anna Street, was listed in stable condition at University Hospital in Newark.