CANARSIE, Brooklyn (WABC) -- Police have identified the 15-year-old who was fatally shot outside a Brooklyn NYCHA complex on Tuesday.
Officials say Javel Lawton was shot in his torso outside the Bay View Houses on 102nd Street at around 9 p.m.
They say Lawton was visiting friends at the location, and as he left, he was immediately approached by a group of males, who were all wearing masks, hoods and gloves.
The victim then exchanged words with a suspect. One of the males then opened fire, striking the victim.
He was taken to Brookdale Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The group of at least three males fled on foot.
No arrests have been made so far.
Crime scene investigators spent hours searching for ballistics evidence and recovered four spent shell casings.
What prompted the dispute was still not clear late Wednesday afternoon.
Authorities say it's too soon to say whether the shooting was gang-related, but say all options are on the table.
Lawton's family says he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was well-known and well-liked with no juvenile record and no criminal history.
This shooting was the second homicide in New York City so far in 2024.
Just hours before this shooting, the NYPD shared crime statistics from 2023. The number of murders decreased last year, keeping with the downward trend since the pandemic highs.
There were 386 homicides last year in total, which was a nearly 12% decrease from 2022.
"You know every neighborhood is different. So we looked at it, you know, we're a data-driven organization. And we put a lot of officers on foot, field deployment we call it. And it really substantially had a decrease in shooting violence," NYPD Chief of Crime Control Strategies Michael Lipetri said.
The NYPD says it is focused on tackling the number of felony assaults and car thefts, as those crimes increased last year.