Followup: 16-Year Old Raphael Ward Murdered on Columbia Street

A makeshift memorial, including photos, candles and flowers, has gone up on Columbia Street.

Here’s more on last night’s murder of 16-year old Raphael Ward, a resident of the Baruch Houses.  A memorial has appeared outside a convenience store on Columbia Street where the teen was shot and killed shortly after 9 p.m.  Police are still searching for the gunman.

The New York Times paints a portrait of an athletic, personable kid who may very well have had a bright future even though he was growing up in a pretty rough part of the neighborhood:

Raphael Ward was known in the projects of the Lower East Side for his tall lanky frame, his easy laugh and his devotion to nearly every form of sports, especially baseball.

16-Year Old Boy Shot and Killed on Columbia Street (Updated 12:29 p.m.)

A fight last night on Columbia Street led to the murder of a 16-year old boy.  WCBS reports police were called to Columbia and Rivington streets, near the Baruch Houses, at around 9 p.m.  They found the victim, Raphael Sadonte Ward, with a gunshot to the chest.

Ward was rushed to Beth Israel Hospital, where he was declared dead. This morning police are searching for a suspect or suspects.

Neighborhood sources tell us Ward was involved in a long-running dispute with other groups from the Lower East Side.  Earlier in the evening, there was apparently a fist fight that later escalated when at least one of those involved returned to the scene with a gun.

More to come…

UPDATE 12:06 p.m. The Post reports that Ward ran into a deli after being shot.  Before collapsing, he said a group had approached him earlier, saying they wanted his jacket.  Ward lived in the Baruch Houses.