A young member of the Crips who was shot dead in New York City during an escalating ‘war’ was trying to leave the gang.
Jaryan Elliot, 13, was shot dead around 3:15 p.m. on Sunday outside Angels Cafe in the Belmont neighborhood of the Bronx in revenge for the killing of rival gang member Tyquill Daugherty, 19, four days earlier, the New York Post reported.
Jaryan, who had just graduated from middle school, would have turned 14 on July 29. He had already been arrested eight times, including for robbery and assault, and had spent time at a juvenile detention center before his death.
However, friends of his told the New York Post that he had seemed to be on a better path and wanted to leave the gang life.
Jaryan Elliot, 13, was shot dead around 3:15 p.m. on Sunday outside Angels Cafe in the Belmont neighborhood of the Bronx
A memorial was set up where Jaryan Elliot lived displaying photos and candles
The letters ‘JR’ are formed with candles at a makeshift vigil for the young teen
A female friend of Jaryan, 16, told the outlet that she had seen the young teen weeks before his death.
‘Two weeks ago we was with him, and he was telling us how he was tired of this gang stuff. He wanted to get some money and get out of the ‘hood,’ she told the New York Post.
The friend, who was not named, said that street gangs are idolized in the working-class ‘red sauce’ neighborhood, known for being the setting for Chazz Palminteri’s coming-of-age crime drama film Bronx Tale.
She said even her 10-year-old brother has claimed to be in gang, even though he is not, the New York Post reported.
‘He is only 10 years old. He is saying that he is in a gang,’ she said. ‘He thinks it’s cute, but I tell him he is not in no gang. He is only 10 years old.’
The friend said she and Jaryan ‘used to chill, go to the park, have fun’ when she first moved to Belmont.
‘He was overprotective of his friends. He’d text people and ask if we are good, ‘How did you sleep, did you eat.’ He was a beautiful soul. He cared about people,’ she said.
She added: ‘It hurts me that this is his first teen year. He had a long life to live.’
‘He didn’t get to live it. He didn’t even made it to high school. A gang changes your life forever,’ she said.
An ex-girlfriend, 14, claimed she had tried to warn Jaryan and her own brother about joining the street gangs.
‘I even tell my own brother to stay out of these streets. I said: “I’m telling you because I love you, and I know you are in a gang, too”,’ she said.
She said that she would tell Jaryan: ‘You don’t know who is in the car with you, you don’t know if they’d run up on you, you don’t know what they have.’
‘They are over here wearing ski masks, you can’t see nobody’s face,’ she said.
The young Crips member is pictured holding an apparent gun
The ex-girlfriend acknowledged that ‘it’s hard to get out of the gang’ and that ‘you gotta get beat up to get out.’
She said: ‘I don’t know why they did this because he was so young. He was the youngest of all of them.’
The ex-girlfriend said that ever since Jaryan had been released from his juvenile detention facility he had been ‘doing good’ and ‘doing his school work.’
She was told Jaryan had gone to fix someone’s moped with a friend when he was shot to death, the ex-girlfriend recounted to the New York Post.
That’s when a shooter hopped out of a car and opened fire on the young teen, the New York Daily News reported. The boy was taken by medics to St. Barnabas Hospital but he could not be saved.
The ex-girlfriend rushed to the hospital after someone she was with received a phone call telling them that Jaryan had been shot, she told the New York Post.
‘They said he was shot and he wasn’t breathing. At first I didn’t believe it,’ she told the outlet.
‘Then it popped up on Citizen app, and we saw it on Facebook. That’s when I realized it was no joke.’
Jaryan was shot outside of Angels Cafe in the Belmont neighborhood of the Bronx borough of New York City
Another photo posted at the memorial shows the teen with the caption: ‘Long Live Jaryan’
The ex-girlfriend said she started understanding how serious the situation was when his mother and current girlfriend started showing up to the hospital.
‘[His mother] couldn’t walk,’ the teen girl recounted. ‘When they pronounced him dead, she came out screaming and crying.’
The GoFundMe has been started for Jaryan’s mother to help her pay for the funeral after the young teen’s death.
‘He was taken away from us due to a senseless act of gun violence,’ the family wrote in a statement attached to the fundraiser.
‘Unfortunately, due to legality, we are not able to provide much information on the events surrounding his passing. However, we are working diligently to get justice for Jaryan. This is just the beginning.’
The statement adds: ‘As we deal with this heartbreak, we ask for your support for a single mom raising three children and ensuring our son, brother, nephew, cousin, and friend have a homegoing ceremony he deserves.’
Jaryan was one of three teens killed in the Bronx borough of New York City in what cops called a ‘major gang war’ in comments to the New York Post.
He is believed to have been at the scene of Daugherty’s shooting, though not the gunman, the police sources told the outlet.
Ramon Gil-Medrano, the third shooting victim, was shot dead about eight hours after Jaryan was killed in apparent retaliation for the young boy’s death. Ramon, 16, was allegedly affiliated with the 800 YGz, or ‘Young Gunnaz,’ gang.
Police sources told the New York Post that Gil-Medrano was at the scene when Jaryan was shot dead but it was not immediately clear if he was the shooter.
NYPD data shows that murder rates are up 4.7% in 2021 compared to last year as of July 11. There have been 225 murders citywide this year compared to 215 last year.
Shooting victims are up 22.2% year over year, with 931 shooting incidents in 2021 compared to 762 in 2020 citywide by July 11, NYPD data shows. The number of shooting incidents has increased from 623 in 2020 to 803 in 2021, a 28.9% jump.
However, those rates are much starker when examined just for the Bronx borough of New York City.
Of those 225 murders in New York City this year, 69 of them were in the Bronx – making up a whopping 31% of all murders in the Big Apple. There were 49 murders in the borough last year, making up only 22% of all murders across the city by July 11, 2020.
The number of shooting victims in the Bronx specifically has jumped 64.8% year-over-year, from 193 shooting incidents in 2020 to 318 in 2021. That means about 42% of all shooting victims in New York City came from the Bronx this year.