June 7, 2021 By Allie Griffin
A 10-year-old boy was killed in a shooting in the Rockaways Saturday just days before his birthday.
Justin Wallace, of Arverne, was shot in the chest when a gunman sprayed bullets at the Edgemere home of his relatives at around 9:30 p.m., police said.
Wallace was walking out the front door of the house on Beach 45th Street with his 29-year-old cousin when a man opened fire at the home.
Wallace was struck by a bullet in the torso, while his cousin — who lived in the house — was shot in his shoulder, according to police.
The young boy, who was a fifth-grader at Challenge Preparatory Charter School, was rushed to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, but couldn’t be saved. His cousin was brought to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in stable condition, police said.
“Someone drove up in front of a house and started firing a weapon, not caring who would die and a 10-year-old is gone,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said near the victim’s home on Sunday. “That can’t happen in this city.”
Wallace’s killer is still on the loose. Police believe the shooting was the result of an ongoing dispute between the boy’s relatives and their neighbors over a shared driveway, according to reports.
Justin Wallace’s 11th birthday is just a few short days away. I met with his family and close friends today. The hopes and dreams his parents had for his life…this murder is as enraging as it is sad.
We will bring this child’s killer to justice. We will keep our city safe. pic.twitter.com/LZtZAIVFnM
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) June 7, 2021
De Blasio, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and Council Member Selvena Brooks-Powers visited Wallace’s heartbroken family on Sunday.
“It’s the most painful thing in the world to be there with a family who has lost a child, there’s no words,” de Blasio said Sunday. “It is heartbreaking, but it’s enraging also.”
He promised to find the killer and bring him to justice.
Richards, who knew the family personally before Saturday’s tragedy, spoke directly to Wallace’s killer.
“Whoever is responsible for this, turn yourself in,” he said. “This young man, Justin, was 10 years old — would have been 11 on Tuesday. This family was planning a birthday party for him. Today they’re planning a funeral because of your recklessness.”
The fatal shooting occurred amid an uptick in shootings citywide this year compared to last year.
🚨WANTED for HOMICIDE: Do you know this guy? On 6/5/21 at approx 9:33 PM, in front of 342 Beach 45 St in Queens, the suspect fired numerous rounds, striking a 29-year-old male & killing a 10-year-old boy. Any info? DM @NYPDTips, or anonymously call them at 800-577-TIPS. pic.twitter.com/cxp13hqEjI
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) June 6, 2021