Family, Friends Mourn Teen Murder Victim

Keith Salgado.

Over the weekend, several news outlets reported on the shooting death of a teenager in the East Village. 18-year old Keith Salgado collapsed on top of a cab at the intersection of Avenue C and 12th Street Sunday, around 2 a.m.  Suffering from bullet wounds to the stomach, Salgado was rushed to Bellevue Hospital, but doctors could not save him. He was pronounced dead at 8:50 a.m. yesterday.

Readers of The Lo-Down may be familiar with the Salgado family.  Two years ago, we posted several stories about “Mothers and Fathers in Arms,” a group of parents who wanted to do something about youth violence. One of the main organizers of that group was Aida Salgado, Keith’s mother.

A candlelight memorial for Keith Salgado at Campos Plaza.

Last night, she sat in her living room, along with grief-stricken friends and loved-ones, still in shock from the tragic events which unfolded hours earlier.   According to several people close to the family, Salgado was playing dice Saturday night with some friends/acquaintances in the courtyard of the Campos Plaza public housing complex.

During the game, they said, another teen suddenly opened fire, aiming for Salgado, at close range. After being shot, he somehow managed to stumble out onto Avenue C.  The Local East Village spoke with the cab driver, who said, “I was here at the red light… There was a kid walking with another kid, about to cross. I tried to make my turn; he crumbled and he fell down.” Police descended on the scene, but the suspect had disappeared. No arrests had been made as of this morning.

Like many kids living in or near the neighborhood’s housing projects, Keith was no stranger to violent conflict.  When I interviewed Aida, his mother, in 2009, Keith sat in a corner of the living room, IM-ing with friends.  After being harassed at school and chased through the streets of the Lower East Side, Aida had forbidden him from going outside, except when absolutely necessary.

Last night, makeshift memorials had been set up outside the family home on East 9th Street and at Campos Plaza. Dereese Huff, the tenant association president at Campos, said she was devastated by the murder and disgusted by the cycle of violence that has taken so many young lives. Huff said there are no security cameras in the housing complex. Repeated pleas for cameras and other security measures have not been acted upon, she said.

Jeffry Solomon, a youth counselor who had known Salgado since he was 7 years old, called him a “sweet kid who always had a smile on his face.” Acknowledging that Keith had accumulated a police record, Solomon said Salgado was a victim of his environment. “He was born in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Solomon told me. “But he was a beautiful kid.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sarah-Flores-rivera/1040740976 Sarah Flores-rivera

    So very sad – it is happening to often that our young people are being killed.  So senseless and sad.  I feel for his mom and the rest of the family.  Why are these young kids walking with guns and knives?  Only the good Lord can help us.  May God give his mom and family strength. 

  • Jessie

    I really feel for that mother.  My 14yr old son knew him apparently, and I can say that I fear every day for my son’s safety.  I though I have three kids, my son is the one who walks these streets that I so hard try to keep him away from.  I’ve been living in Ave D and 8th Street for 3 years now and all I see is violance, drugs and gang banging activities and nothing is being done.  My fear is so bad that most of the time I send him to stay with family cause can bare knowing something like this will happen to him.  My thoughts and prayers are with that family and mother!

  • jorell morales

    My nephew damn… take care of bianca papi when you get there love you, tio joe :-(

  • Casey

    I seen Keith grow up he lived a block away from me. It seems like just yesterday when we was all in Tompkins having a good time . He was only 3 years younger then me , I can’t deal with this pain. Although I’ve done my best removing myself from the street/gang activities I wish I could have helped him. I seen him one week before he passed we said “What up” to eachother and just kept it moving it was a mutual respect. Everyone in the around my area is hurt, he had so many friends and was cool with everyone in the area.. Everyone in the hood know Keith did some bad things but when the people you look up to don’t lead you on the right path what do you expect? I really can’t believe he is gone. Everyday and night I’ve been thinking about him , his smile and that he is never coming back.
    RIP KEITH I love you bro