Skip to content
Mother of slain 12-year-old demands answers: ‘I demand justice.’

The family of a 12-year-old boy who was fatally shot last week in Brooklyn pleaded for answers at a news conference with Mayor Eric Adams on Monday, describing the deep pain and frustration that innocent victims continue to be caught in the gunfire.

The child, Kade Lewin, was in the passenger seat of a parked car in East Flatbush on Thursday evening, sharing a meal with relatives, when a hail of bullets ripped through the vehicle. He was struck in the head and pronounced dead at the scene.

The boy was not meant to be the intended target; Police say the person who pulled the trigger was likely looking for someone else and fired into the wrong car after driving around the block several times, blowing out its windows and killing Kade. No arrests were made.

“All I ask is please move on,” Kade’s mother, Suzette Lewin, said in brief remarks Monday as she held a framed portrait of her brightly smiling son.

“Somebody say something. I demand justice for Kade,” said Ms Lewin, who was working in a nearby salon when her son was killed.

Speaking barely above a whisper, with parents and elected officials by her side, Ms Lewin quickly became too emotional to continue. Still clutching her son’s picture, she turned away from the microphones and hesitated. Two men stepped forward to escort her across the street and up the stairs to her house, a beige brick duplex.

Police said Monday that the investigation is continuing. Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell appeared at the press conference and implored the public to provide information.

Mr Adams said the Lewin family’s journey to East Flatbush and their current trauma was a story “the whole country should listen to”. He described them as immigrants who came “looking for a better way of life, not someone to take their life away from”.

“They’ll never get over this moment,” Mr. Adams said as he lifted a pair of Kade’s white and blue Nike sneakers by their laces. “Whose next child is?

He added: “The overwhelming majority of victims are black and brown. One can replace Kade’s name with so many other names. Promising young people, who were torn from us for no other reason: too many weapons in our streets.

Kade’s death was just one of several jarring bouts of violence in Mr Adams’ first four months in office. They present a quick test of his central campaign promise that he would make New Yorkers feel safer.

Others have included the stampede of an Asian woman outside a subway train in Times Square, the non-fatal shooting of a toddler in the Bronx, and the murder of two police officers in East Harlem. The attacks have contributed to a palpable sense of fear among some New Yorkers and heightened debates about police, social services and justice.

Crime levels in New York City remain well below what they were during the city’s most violent times, but gun violence in particular has increased in some neighborhoods. The city has seen more than 1,500 shootings in the past two years, after hitting historic lows. There were fewer than 800 annual shootings in the years before the pandemic, according to police data.

Two of Kade’s relatives were also in the car during Thursday’s shooting, including an 8-year-old girl who was in the back seat and was not injured.

The driver of the car, Jenna Ellis, 20, a cousin, was hit six times. She was shot in the cheek, chest and leg, police said. Mrs. Ellis was seriously injured, but is expected to survive.

Mr Adams said Ms Ellis had a promising life ahead of her, working two jobs and planning to go to university. Her mother bought her the car she was driving last week “so she could enjoy her family,” he said.

Ms Ellis’ mother, Jennifer Jones Ellis, said she was struggling deeply with events.

“My daughter, lying in the hospital, blaming herself,” Ms Ellis said, as she clutched a beaming portrait of Jenna in a bright orange shirt. “We don’t want it to be another Kade, we don’t want it to be another Jenna. Honey, all she knows is to do good. And that’s the pain she’s had for doing good.

In the days following the shooting, residents of East Flatbush held several vigils to call for an end to gun violence. At a memorial, Jumaane Williams, the New York City public advocate and Democratic gubernatorial candidate, said Ms Lewin told her how proud she was of Kade and “how many good things the teachers said about him. him”.

“The issue of gun violence is like that family,” Williams said at the press conference. “I know they are black people, but let’s take care of their lives, please, please. The pain that happens in the house: When the cameras go away, it’s forever.

Sean Piccoli contributed report.


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.