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Police Investigate Shooting in LES Housing Project

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There are several TV and newspaper reports this afternoon concerning a fatal shooting inside the lobby of a Lower East Side housing project. According to the Daily News, 29-year old Curtis James was shot in the face and killed early this morning in the lobby of the Laguardia Houses (or possibly the Rutgers Houses across the street, according to other accounts). A second victim, a 19-year old male, was shot in the torso, and is hospitalized in critical condition. His name has not been released. More from the Daily News report:

James’ heartbroken mother said a detective investigating the case told her that her son was “beefing with somebody.” James, who was soon to become a father, was raised in Harlem but lived in the Baruch Houses on the lower East Side, his family said. Flanked by sobbing family members outside of the murder scene, his mother, Desiree James, 53, said, “To see my son shot dead like this is heartbreaking. It’s terrible. My baby’s gone. A short time later, the grieving mother shook her head in disbelief as authorities carried her son’s body out of the lobby…  James was unemployed but was receiving training in auto mechanics, his mother said. His girlfriend is seven-months pregnant, and Desiree James recalled that during a conversation on Saturday, her son brimmed with expectation for his future and was excited over a surprise birthday party he was planning for his girlfriend. But James had also had a few brushes with the law. He had prior arrests for menacing, obstructing governmental administration and criminal trespass, a police source said. A man who lives in the LaGuardia Houses said James was always hanging around with a tough crowd at the project where he was ultimately slain. “He led a wild life. He was always getting into stuff with people,” the resident said, declining to provide his name. “I knew that lifestyle was going to catch up with him.”

Police have not made any arrests as of this afternoon.

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