Residents of Brooklyn’s Bayview Houses came together with anti-gun violence groups on Thursday to denounce the fatal shooting of 15-year-old Javel Lawton earlier this week — and call for community funding to help combat further crime.
According to authorities, Lawton was shot in the back outside of NYCHA’s Bayview Houses at the intersection of East 102nd Street and Seaview Avenue in Canarsie at around 9 p.m. on Jan. 2. He was rushed to Brookdale University Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.
Detectives said Wednesday that they believe Lawton was visiting friends inside the Bayview Houses moments before the deadly shooting occurred, and that the incident may have been gang-related. Lawton’s death marked the first fatal shooting of the year in Brooklyn, as well as New York City.
Locals on Thursday said they know this pain all too well.
“Two years ago, we were here for a young man shot and killed, two years almost to the day we are here for a young man was fatally gunned down,” Canarsie resident and Flossy Organization President Jibreel Jalloh told the crowd. “Elected officials, we are asking for funding for this community.”
Cheryl Boyce, president of Bayview Houses, vowed to work with local electeds to reopen the public housing complex’s youth center in an effort to help keep kids off of the streets and out of trouble.
“It is unacceptable for a mother to have to bury her child,” she said. “I will do all in my power to open up the youth center for these kids again.”
Assembly Member Mercedes Narcisse, who represents Canarsie, fought back tears at the gathering — and said the shooting was personal for her.
“I knew [Lawton’s] mother, she used to be a part of Christmas events I would have,” she said. “This is tragic and painful for this family.”
Oresa Napper-Williams of Not Another Child — a Big Apple-based anti-violence group — said the real work begins when the cameras are off. “We have to help this mother heal. After the cameras go away, the healing begins. This mother now needs our love.”
Police are still searching for the suspects involved in Lawton’s slaying.
Anyone with information regarding the shooting can call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (for Spanish, dial 888-57-PISTA). You can also submit tips online at crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, or on X (the platform formerly known as Twitter) @NYPDTips. All calls and messages are kept confidential.