Call for change after teen shot on Lower East Side

January 5, 2013 8:26:16 PM PST
Hovering above a sea of candles, residents of the Baruch Houses are struggling to come to terms with yet more violence. This time, a 16-year-old was murdered.

Raphael Ward's death Friday night has stirred up deep-seated emotions from people who say they're fed up with the violence.

"I just want people to put the guns down," said family friend Mary Arroyo, "He liked sports, he did well in school, he was going to be somebody."

Police say Ward was shot at the intersection of Rivington and Columbia, just a few blocks away from his home. After getting hit, he ran into a deli for cover and for help.

EMTs rushed him to Beth Israel Hospital where he later died.

Residents say guns and gangs are all too common at the Baruch Houses on the Lower East Side.

This war on the streets has sparked a war of words between Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and the New York City Housing Authority, NYCHA.

Stringer, who says violence is on the rise in Lower East Side public housing said in a statement,

"My office allocated funds for security cameras for Baruch Houses in 2012, but only initial steps have been taken to install them."

In response, a Housing Authority spokesperson said, "NYCHA is on track with the security camera installations?at approximately 85 developments by the end of 2013."

As for Raphael Ward's murder, police say they do not have a suspect at this point.

Several people who spoke to Eyewitness News claim the shooter was also a teenager.

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