Police looking to question man in connection to murder of 17-year-old basketball player Brandon Hendricks

MORRIS HEIGHTS, Bronx (WABC) -- Police are looking to question a man in connection to the murder of a star scholar and basketball player.

Officers want to talk to Najhim Luke, 22, about the murder of Brandon Hendricks, 17.

Hendricks was gunned down Sunday night in the Bronx. Police say he was an innocent bystander.

He graduated from high school just days ago and was on his way to college at St. John's.

Now the community ripped apart by COVID-19 and roiled by protest is molten with anger.

"We have to stand and bury one of our own because of one of our own, that's unacceptable and it's unsustainable," community activist Kirsten John Foy said.

Eyewitness News spoke to the 17-year-old's uncle, Noel Ellison, on Monday. He says it was a surreal day for the family.

According to Ellison, Hendricks' mother would often say "I gotta get him out of this neighborhood."

"You do all you can. You force the kid to get good grades. You treat him like he's on top of the world. And he's done everything we've asked for. And his reward should not be an early death," Ellison said.

Hendricks was a star on the hardwood, but more importantly, a star off the court too.

"It's been instilled in him since childhood that he had to go to college," Ellison said. "He knew that that was the goal, it was his responsibility to study hard and get the grades to do it. He's won a couple of basketball awards for being high in his academic stuff."
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