A 15-year-old boy was shot and killed when a gunman unleashed a slew of bullets outside a gritty Bronx housing project early Sunday, police said.
Troy Zapata was shot in the chest and hit again in the back as he tried to run away from the gunfire in the concrete courtyard of the Adams Houses in Melrose at 12:50 a.m.
The teenager, a freshman at Herbert H. Lehman High School died 25 minutes later at Lincoln Hospital as his disbelieving family gathered in the emergency room.
"He was a good kid," said his brother Chris Zapata, 23, said. "He wasn't with a good crowd all the time, but he was a good kid."
Troy Zapata had left the family's home on E. 142nd St. hours earlier and was visiting friends in the housing project in the hours before he was killed, his brother said.
"When he leaves our doors, we don't always know who he's with," said Chris Zapata. "He stayed out late, but he was a straight kid."
One of Troy Zapata's friends, a 16-year-old boy whose name was not released, was shot in the buttocks. He was listed in stable condition at Lincoln Hospital, police said.
The gunman fled the scene before cops arrived and investigators are not certain what prompted the shooting, police said.
It was not immediately known if Zapata was his killer's target.
"We always warned him about his friends," said the dead teen's weeping sister, Jenny Guity, 31, "and we were trying to push him to finish high school."
"He decided to go hang out with his friends and this is the result," she said as she paced outside Lincoln Hospital "It's so unfair."
This was a friend of mine that got killed cause he was at the wrong place at the wrong place. He was a nice person that always liked to joke around with people. What makes people now days go around shooting one another. I feel like there’s other ways you can control your anger or if you don’t like