(NEW YORK) — A New York City teenager is dead after he reportedly refused to give up his Polo Ralph Lauren jacket to another young man. Friends of 16-year-old Raphael Ward, who lived in the Lower East Side neighborhood of Manhattan, told the New York Post that Ward had an altercation over his jacket before he was shot.
Cynthia Nieves, 14, who was with Ward before the shooting, told the Post that he warned her, “Go home!” He didn’t say what was going on, but, she told the paper, “He knew they were coming back.”
Officer Sophia Tassy of the New York Police Department confirmed the reports of an altercation over Ward’s parka, but said police aren’t sure if the same people involved in the altercation are responsible for the shooting.
On Friday evening at about 8:10 p.m., police say Ward was shot in the chest in front of a church near his home. According to the Post, Ward stumbled into a nearby convenience store after the shooting and said he had been approached by people who wanted his jacket.
Paramedics rushed Ward to Beth Israel Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
No arrests have been made, and the NYPD has asked the public’s help in locating four persons of interest.
Monday afternoon, police released a surveillance video showing four men walking into a bodega, then walking out. Two of the men are wearing ski masks and have been described as Hispanic. Police said the other two are black.
The price of the green coat is unknown, but friends reported that it was expensive and may have attracted unwanted attention in one of New York’s poorer neighborhoods.
Raphael Ward lived with his mother and 7-year-old brother in the Baruch Houses, a public housing project. ABC News tried unsuccessfully to reach Ward’s family.
The New York police asked that anyone with information on the shooting call them.
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