Innocent bystander shot in head by stray bullet in Brooklyn dies days later

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Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Innocent bystander shot in head by stray bullet dies days later
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Naveen Dhaliwal reports on the innocent bystander fatality in Brooklyn.

PARK SLOPE, Brooklyn (WABC) -- An innocent bystander shot in the head by a stray bullet early Sunday morning in Brooklyn has died.

Jose Celis, 58, died from his injuries Tuesday night at New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital.

Now his family is speaking out about their pain. The large family of eight siblings said the last four days have been full of anguish.

Ana Chan found strength to talk about her younger brother on Wednesday and said the good times and memories provided some calm.

"He had a heart of gold, he would help anybody at any time," Chan said. "It has been a terrible roller coaster."

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Everything changed last Sunday morning when he was shot in the head. He was an innocent bystander caught in the gunfire as one driver shot off rounds at another during a dispute on 4th Avenue in Park Slope.

Celis was standing about 500 feet away when he was struck by a stray bullet.

His family rushed to the hospital where he was hooked up to a life support machine.

With a broken heart, his younger brother Juan Celis made the decision to take his brother off life support.

"I was there at his bedside because I didn't want him to die alone," he said. "And I sat next to him until his heart stopped."

The victim's siblings say their brother was the dancer and jokester of the family. And his life was taken away from him in an instant because of a senseless act.

Police say of the two cars involved, one driver remained on the scene, but the driver of the second vehicle -- the alleged gunman -- took off.

Investigators have identified a person of interest in the case. So far, no arrests have been made in the case.

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