Maurice McGee thought he heard a gunshot and looked outside the window of his barbershop.
The 51-year-old saw a kid fall to the ground in an instant.
What he witnessed was a 15-year-old boy being shot in the head Monday in broad daylight, just feet away from the entrance to his City of Poughkeepsie shop near the intersection of Main and Clinton streets. But, that didn’t register at first.
“It’s like I saw a game portrayed right in front of my face,” the city resident said. “I’m like, ‘You got to be kidding me.’ This is a little kid playing games. That’s all they do at home, sit down and play shooting games.”
He said he saw the shooter “walk away like it was nothing.” City police are now searching for the shooter, and asking for the public’s help in sharing any information they may have.
It was the third fatal shooting of the summer in the city, and the second in which a minor was the victim. There have been more than two dozen confirmed incidents of gunfire in the city this year.
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At the time, just after 6 p.m., there were kids in the shop. McGee said he secured them in the building until he knew they were safe.
Security footage depicting the shooting was shared with the Journal. The 15-year-old was walking north with his bike when a person dressed in black, face covered, came up to him and shot the boy in the head. He then turned and ran across the street, going north.
The shooting was reported 6:12 p.m., police said. Officers found the boy shot in the head. He was transported to Vassar Brothers Medical Center and pronounced dead at 8:34 p.m., police said.
No arrests were made as of 9 a.m. Tuesday, according to Capt. Richard Wilson, city police spokesman. He said information, either verbal or in writing, can help police in their investigation.
“Any prosecution will potentially hinge on the community’s or any witnesses coming forward and making statements,” Wilson said. “We really employ the community to help us in any way they can to solve these outstanding shootings and homicides.”
The department is asking anyone who witnessed the murder or has information to reach out to city police at 845-451-7577.
McGee said there is a lot of misery in the city with parents losing their kids to violence “for nothing.”
As a father, McGee said he raised his son in the city, watched over him, didn’t allow him to go out if he wasn’t sure it was safe and now his son is away at college.
“Basically it comes down to the parents,” he said. “You guide your kid until they can’t be guided anymore. That is what I was taught. Until they are fully developed until they don’t need you. But they don’t do that anymore. Their kids are outside, at 10 years old, at 1 a.m. running around, not caring, seeing stuff they’re not supposed to be seeing and their innocence is gone around the age of eight.”
The shooting marks at least the 28th shooting in the city this year, which were confirmed through shell casings, bullet holes or witness testimony, according to city police.
Through the first eight months of the year, seven individuals had been shot and survived, according to the department. In that time officers also responded to at least:
- 34 stabbing incidents
- Six homicides; three following gunshot wounds, two due to blunt force or asphyxiation, and one by stabbing.
- Seven individuals who had been shot by gunfire and survived
- Thirty-two robberies, 15 of which were armed
- Ninety reports of shots fired, 26 or which were confirmed through shell casings, bullet holes or witness testimony
- Seventy-five various reports of guns outside of incidents involving shots fired
A 21-year-old man who was shot in the leg and the side in the area of Muldowney Circle near 6 a.m. on Sept. 10. City police are also investigating shots fired in the area of Craft 302 Saturday.
Ryan Santistevan: firstname.lastname@example.org, 845-437-4809, Twitter: @NewsByRyan_