Police investigating fatal shooting of 15-year-old boy in Central Islip

CENTRAL ISLIP, Suffolk County (WABC) -- Police are investigating the murder of a teenager on Long Island early Wednesday morning.

Police say four teens were hanging out in a wooded area just off East Suffolk Avenue in Central Islip when they were approached by two others, one with a gun.

"The four kids ran in different directions," said Det. Lt. Kevin Beyrer of the Suffolk County Police Homicide Squad. "One kid was found behind this temple here, and he was shot dead."

Police say the victim was a 15-year-old boy, fatally shot behind a Hindu temple. Investigators were at the scene throughout the day searching for evidence, including any surveillance footage.

"There's elements that it could be targeted," said Beyrer. "Being in the woods, we are investigating it as gang related, although we cannot confirm that, but it certainly seems to be a gang related case."

It is a concern but certainly not a surprise to some who live in the area. They say police have made significant progress against gangs. but more needs to be done.

"Wouldn't surprise me because they're much reduced in numbers but still not 100 percent," said Central Islip resident Christian Mitchell.

Many were just waiting for more specifics before drawing any conclusions.

"Maybe they just came across a group of individuals and who knows what they were doing and they were caught by surprise," said Suffolk County Legislator Sam Gonzalez. "There's still a lot of questions."

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