Brooklyn community begs for justice after 17-year-old boy stabbed to death in Coney Island

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Wednesday, January 25, 2023

CONEY ISLAND, Brooklyn (WABC) -- A community in Brooklyn, heartbroken and angry about the stabbing death of a 17-year-old boy, is begging for justice as police search for as many as six people in the teen's murder.

Those who knew and loved Nyheem Wright remembered him Tuesday. Those who know and love this Coney Island community are asking it to do some reflection.

"Nyheem was just a loving 17-year-old boy. Enjoying life, enjoying school, learning who he is," Liberation High School Principal April Leong said.

"A very good person. He was determined, focused on what he wanted to do and making everybody proud," friend and relative Anavea Nieves said.

Local leaders and violence interrupters gathered in the Rite Aid parking lot where Wright collapsed after being stabbed in a fight after school on Friday, just a few blocks from his home. They had a message for parents.

"Please know what your children are doing," they said.

They had a message for young people too.

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"Please support each other. We need to see tomorrow. We need to make sure it's not going to repeat itself," New York City Councilmember Ari Kagan said.

"I just hope the community at large can each take responsibility and accountability for the roles that we need to play to avoid these tragedies," Leong said.

Wright's high school principal has been consoling her school community.

"The message is live for Nyheem and accomplish all the things that he won't be able to accomplish," she said.

Wright's heartbroken mom says there are lessons here for a neighborhood that has struggled with youth violence.

"If there was more for the kids to do, I think they would be busy," Wright's mother Simone Brooks said. "And there wouldn't be so much happening and that's always been a worry for me because I have sons."

As the NYPD continues to look for six young men or teens who attacked Wright, his family and the grieving Coney Island community urge those that know who did this to come forward.

"If you know that your son is someone that the police are looking for, which you already know, turn them in," Brooks said. "It could be your kid. That could be your child that could be dead. It could be anybody. So just turn them in. I would."

"In this case justice would look like parents starting to be parents," said Derick Latif Scott of Operation H.O.O.D. "Instead of looking for law enforcement to do their job. Do your job. Be a parent."

A GoFundMe page has been started to cover the funeral costs for Wright.


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