WORCESTER (CBS) – An 18-year-old was shot and killed near the annual Fourth of July celebration in Worcester Tuesday night.
The teen, identified by family members as Tafar Lewis, was found lying wounded on Gage Street around 10:25 p.m. He was rushed to a hospital where he died.
There have been no arrests and there’s no word yet on a motive.
About a half-hour later, officers were called to Shrewsbury and Lyon streets for a second shooting. A 19-year-old man was wounded in that incident. Police said his injuries are not life-threatening.
“My heart is broken. He grew up in my hands and my wife,” said the victim’s grandfather Nemiah Hibbert.
Witnesses described the violent scene, which happened just minutes after a scene of celebration.
“I heard four shots bang, bang, bang, I backed up and did not look out the window and heard two more shots,” said witness Stephen Dirado.
Natasha Joseph was among the neighbors who ran to comfort Lewis, who was still conscious. She described Lewis as a “great kid.”
“We just tried to keep him from bleeding out. We kept saying to hold on, hold on,” said Joseph.
Lewis was an aspiring rapper who went by the name June Valentino and hoped to become a professional musician. Friends say he had just been hanging out.
“I saw him and he was happy with his friends,” said Edy Amaya. “A lot can change in a few hours, I really miss him.”
It’s unclear if Tafar Lewis was in the wrong place at the wrong time or if the shooter knew him. So far there have not been any arrests.
“He was a real good kid who just graduated two weeks ago,” said Hibbert.
Lewis was a graduate of the Gerald Creamer Center.
Police are investigating if the second shooting on Shrewsbury and Lyon streets is related. Police say a 19-year-old male suffered a gunshot wound in a dispute with another male. His injuries are not believed to be life threatening.
Those who know Lewis are saddened about a dream cut short.
“His music will live on and his name will live on,” said Amaya.