A single shot leaves community asking why

Violence takes teen's life



Victor Maldonado, 19, was shot and killed Monday night in front of 2805 Heath Ave. after allegedly getting involved in a dispute that started when his friend held the front door open for another woman who failed to say thank you. 

He was taken to St. Barnabas Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

“It’s a really tragic case,” said Capt. Kevin Burke, commander of the 50th Precinct. 

The dispute began when Theresa Coleman, 21, who lives in the building, responded discourteously to Mr. Maldonado’s friend, who replied with a sarcastic “You’re welcome,” according to the victim’s sister Nayiliana Jesus Maldonado.

The conflict escalated from there.

Ms. Coleman’s brother Deshawn Coleman, 34, who lives on Sedgwick Avenue, and Mr. Maldonado, who lived nearby at 2820 Bailey Ave., got involved and Mr. Coleman fired a single shot to Mr. Maldonado’s torso that left him dead before walking into the lobby and making threatening statements to bystanders, according to Capt. Burke.

Mr. Coleman claims to have shot Mr. Maldonado in self-defense, saying the gun belonged to Mr. Maldonado, according to Capt. Burke. 

Capt. Burke called Mr. Coleman “a real thug,” who has faced 28 arrests related to narcotics, assault and robbery.

Police said they arrested Mr. Coleman on a homicide charge after a 20-minute standoff in which he and his sister refused to let police enter her apartment. They also arrested Ms. Coleman, but Capt. Burke said she is not being charged and will be used as a witness.

A large group of family, friends and neighbors stood around a vigil for Mr. Maldonado on the corner of Heath Avenue and West Kingsbridge Road on Tuesday morning, many of them crying or too shocked to speak. They described him as a good kid who had a sense of humor and liked to play basketball.

A cardboard box, emblazoned with “RIP VIC” leaned against a fire hydrant with a dozen or so candles burning inside. 

Mr. Maldonado’s sister, Nayiliana, 15, sat on a crate adjacent to the memorial.

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