Devastated friends and family of the 16-year-old boy on life support after he was shot in the head outside an East Harlem housing development were so racked with grief they were barely able to speak between prayers for the teen on Sunday.
Juwan (Chico) Taverez was in a shot once in the head outside the Jefferson Houses on Third Ave. between E. 114th and 11th Streets Friday night, police said. He was in a “sedated coma” at Harlem Hospital Sunday morning, according to the boy’s sister, who asked to be identified only be her first initial, A.
“He’s hanging in there. He’s fighting for his life,” she said.
Friends and family, who were also reticent to identify themselves by name, struggled to reconcile the victim’s comatose state with the youthful life he had just days before.
“He’s a young kid. This is too much,” said A, visibly shaken.
One witness who said he was with Taverez when the gun blasts erupted Friday, called the shooting random.
“We were at the wrong place at the wrong time,” he said.
“”He’s only 16-years-old,” Sierra said. “ He’s a good kid.”
Sierra said “#Pray4Chico” has been circulating around Facebook since the incident occurred. It’s a hashtag made even more poignant when contrasted against the one that adorns Traverez’s own Facebook wall: #Here4AReason.
The shooter remained at large.