An emerging basketball standout from the Bronx became the latest victim of New York’s volatile unrest and gun violence.
17-year-old Brandon Hendricks was attending a birthday party with his friends in Morris Heights late Sunday (June 28) when they heard the sound of gunfire. According to Henrick’s friend, Hammad “Bam” Singleton, they starting running away as soon as they heard the shots.
It was here that Henricks told Singleton that he “got hit.”
“I grabbed him and said we can’t stop right here because there’s more shots going off. He stopped at the steps and we sat him down. He started wobbling. So, I sat him down,” Singleton told Fox News.
Despite the apparent fatal wound, Hendricks told Singleton that he was okay.
“He’s trying to smile. He’s trying to talk to me: ‘I’m good, I’m good,’” recalled Singleton.
Hendricks then told his friend he loves him and to “call my mom.”
“He just closed his eyes. He didn’t say anything else after that. That was it,” said Singleton.
Responding NYPD officials who identified Hendricks said he was shot once in the neck around 11:50 p.m. He was transported to St. Barnabas Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
NBC New York said Hendricks just graduated from James Monroe High School last week. As an athlete, Hendricks was the Eagles’ point guard and averaged 12 points, six assists and two steals per outing in the past season.
Eagles head coach Nigel Thompson took to social media and poured out his sentiments on the untimely passing of their “leader on and off the floor for the past two seasons.”
“His whole life ahead of him… why did he have to be taken from us so soon? I have so many special memories of Brandon that I’ll treasure forever.
“I’m pretty certain that the bullets that took Brandon’s life were not meant for him. He wasn’t that kind of a kid. But those bullets should not have been meant for anyone,” said Thompson in a lengthy Instagram post.
Monroe assistant coach Chris Salgado said Hendricks was planning to attend prep school but decided otherwise and opted to attend junior college at West Hills College in California.
Fox News sources claimed that witnesses told police Hendricks was involved in a “verbal dispute” before the incident. This, however, was denied by Singleton, who said that Hendricks was just a “bystander.”
“It really wasn’t meant for him. Wrong place, wrong time. The people who were with me are all basketball players. Nothing to do with the streets,” he said.