By Emily Drooby
Happy birthday balloons blow in the wind and on the stoop sits a cupcake. At the family home where he was gunned down, instead of a birthday party, there’s a memorial for Justin Wallace. He didn’t make it to 11.
People like Wanda Mcneill stop by to pay their respects to the young boy and to send a message of solidarity to his family.
“People are supporting them, people are thinking about them, people are outraged,” Wanda said. “I mean we are outraged.”
Anger is a popular feeling among neighbors like Leitoya Dixon.
“I just don’t understand why no one in this community has turned this man in,” Leitoya said. “Ten years old.”
Justin was shot and killed on Saturday, June 5. He was an unintended target while near the doorway of his aunt’s home. His 29-year-old cousin was shot too and is recovering.
In video released by the NYPD, the suspect fired several rounds directly at the house from the sidewalk.
The suspect, Jovan Young, turned himself in on Tuesday, June 8. He is in custody in connection to the deadly shooting on multiple charges of murder, attempted murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon.
“I pray to God that this person is found and I pray to God that some elected officials do something around here, something more,” Leitoya said.
Little Justin is just one of latest and one of the youngest victims of recent gun violence in NYC.
Shootings are up over 68 percent this year. So far, 602 incidents have led to 687 people either injured or killed according to the police department.
Mayor Bill de Blasio is calling for federal and state help, but hasn’t give a solid solution to the bloodshed.
During a press conference the New York City mayor said it has to stop.
“It’s going to effort so much work, but it has to stop because this is not a way for us to live,” de Blasio said.
Back in Far Rockaway, Justin’s school community is mourning his senseless death.
“He loved math, whenever he was asked to do something, his favorite word was, ‘I got you,’” said school principal Nicole Griffin. “He was a tech wizard, so he was one that we often called on for any technical needs.”
She tells Currents News the school is offering counseling for students, with some services coming from Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens.
One of their clinical directors, Chad Billington, explains why counseling is important in a situation like this.
“It’s important to provide that type of service for kids, because this is obviously something that is unforeseen, very sudden, can be very traumatic to them,” Chad said.
The school plans to hold a small memorial for Justin outside of Challenge Preparatory Charter School on Thursday, June 10 at 7 p.m.
This story will continue to be updated.