Suspect arrested in fatal shooting of Iona College student in New Rochelle

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Joe Torres is live in New Rochelle with the story

A suspect is under arrest after an 18-year-old college student was found fatally shot in New Rochelle in Westchester County over the weekend.

Police received multiple calls of gunshots in the area of Lincoln Park just after 3 a.m. Sunday, and arriving officers found a man lying on the ground inside the park, bleeding from an apparent gunshot wound.

The victim, identified as 19-year-old Brandon Lawrence, of Yonkers, was pronounced dead at the scene. He was a student at Iona College.

"Brandon was like my best friend," sister Brianna Lawrence said. "He was my other half. He told me all his secrets, and I would tell him mine."

The Iona College Fashion Club posted a photo of Lawrence on social media, saying "Fashion sending all of our prayers & love to the family of Brandon Lawrence for the loss of their loved one. We loved seeing your fashion on campus, God couldn't wait to bring back his Angel."

The suspect, 19-year-old Stivenson Desir, of New Rochelle, is charged with second-degree murder.

The Lawrence family is now in mourning, trying so hard to understand the incomprehensible loss of a son, a brother, a nephew.

"I loved my son," mom Sharon Lawrence said. "I loved him dearly, and he was killed so senselessly. Senselessly. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time."

According to investigators, five young men had gathered in the parking lot outside The Boys and Girls Club, with an altercation spilling onto the neighboring ballfield. That's when police say Desir shot Lawrence, who played basketball at Lincoln High School in Yonkers and graduated last year before attending Iona.

"Everybody who knew Brandon knew he was a love child, a quiet child," aunt Denise Young said. "You know, just full of life. Nineteen years old."

Police say the shooting was not drug-, alcohol- or gang-related, and that Lawrence was not involved in the argument that preceded the gunfire.

"It appears it was a mutual combatant," New Rochelle Police Captain Rob Gazzola said. "Two guys had a beef with one another, they were going to go settle it on the field, and that's what happened."

Friends on campus were devastated.

"I'm just really speechless right now because it's so sad," classmate Abigail Cleare said. "He's our colleague. He's our peer."

Desir was arraigned Monday.

Related Topics:
murderhomicideshootingwestchester newsNew Rochelle
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