Bronx teen shooting: Cops seek shooter in SUV who killed youngster outside PAL center

East Harlem shooting
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Bronx detectives continue to seek the suspect behind a shooting outside a Police Athletic League (PAL) center on Thursday night that left one teenager dead and another seriously injured.

Josue Lopez-Ortega, 15, of Fenton Avenue died on Friday after being shot in the head in the ambush attack near the PAL New South Bronx Center at 991 Longwood Ave. in Longwood at about 8:50 p.m. on Jan. 19.

On Friday evening, the NYPD released photos of an SUV which the killer had used to travel to and from the location. 

The motive for the shooting remains under investigation; PIX-11 reported Friday that investigators believe the gun violence may have served as retaliation for a prior dispute.

According to police, the unidentified suspect drove a gray Jeep Renegade westbound along Longwood Avenue from Fox Street just as a group of individuals were exiting the PAL facility. As the group hung out in front of the location, cops said, the driver made a U-turn and headed back eastbound on Longwood Avenue before stopping his vehicle at Beck Street.

Bronx shooting SUV
The vehicle the Bronx shooting suspect used.Photo courtesy of NYPD

That’s where the driver then got out of the SUV, ran across the street, pulled out a firearm and began blasting at the group, according to authorities.

Three shots were fired in all — one of which struck Lopez-Ortega in the head and a second teenager, a 16-year-old boy, in the leg, police reported.

After firing the shots, cops said, the shooter ran back to the Jeep SUV, hopped back in and sped away eastbound along Longwood Avenue.

Officers from the 41st Precinct responded to the shooting along with EMS units. Lopez-Ortega was taken to Lincoln Hospital, where he died on Jan. 20; the 16-year-old victim was also taken to Lincoln Hospital, and was listed in stable condition.

No arrests have been made in the ongoing investigation, police said.

Anyone with information regarding the homicide can call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (for Spanish, dial 888-57-PISTA). You can also submit tips online at crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, or on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls and messages are kept confidential.