15-Year-Old Is Fatally Shot in Harlem


Published: June 30, 2008

A 15-year-old boy was killed early Sunday by what appeared to be a stray bullet while walking with a friend in Harlem, the police said.

Nathan Allsbrook may not have been the intended target, the authorities said.

The boy, Nathan Allsbrook, was shot about 2:30 a.m. at the corner of 127th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard, near a deserted site where an apartment building was under construction, the police said.

The victim’s family described him as a bright, religious young man.

There were no arrests in the shooting as of Sunday night.

The shooting was the latest in a violent month in and around Harlem, and it was a block from a shooting spree on May 26 that left six teenagers wounded along Lenox Avenue. On June 17, a 12-year-old boy playing basketball on Madison Avenue in Spanish Harlem was injured by debris loosened by stray bullets, investigators said. The police said they had no reason to believe the shootings were related.

In Sunday’s shooting, the police said, a shell casing was found a substantial distance from where the victim was shot, suggesting that he was not an intended target. Officers responded to a call of a person shot and found Nathan with a bullet wound in his torso. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 2:45 a.m.

On Sunday afternoon, his family was still in disbelief over the loss.

“I just want my son back,” said his mother, Cherise Smith. “He didn’t deserve this. He would have been in church now. Everybody loved him. I loved him so much. I just wish I could wake up and he’d be here.”

Nathan’s godmother, Tangiers Gale-Roland, said he had been troubled by the recent shootings in Harlem.

“He was just talking recently about the senseless killings and how it was so foolish for these young boys to carry weapons,” she said. “He never got into trouble. He loved sports. Basketball was his favorite, but I always said he was going to be a baseball player. He had some arm. He was very athletic, so much potential.” She added that Nathan would have been a sophomore at Rice High School in Harlem.

Community organizers planned a vigil on Sunday evening. One of the organizers, Calvin B. Hunt Jr. of Harlem Community Watch, spoke to Nathan’s mother in the afternoon about the search for suspects.

“Hopefully, they’ll turn themselves in,” he said. “We are going to be on the streets all day and we are going to flush them out.”

Nathan’s older brother, Nelson Smith, 19, said he thought that Nathan had been talking to a girl when he was shot. The brother said he rushed to the scene.

“I heard they just shot him and fled, but I don’t know anything,” he said. “He used to always pray a lot. He used to always tell me to watch out for haters.”

New York Times
Front Page : Words Of Death
Back to Obituary

One Response to “15-Year-Old Is Fatally Shot in Harlem”

  1. On A Mission to Change the World Says:

    Thank you for posting this story on your blog. He was my younger cousin. We must stop the senseless killings…

    Be well, and happy blogging!


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