Neighbors blame gang violence for BX teen's death

THE BRONX - Neighbors of a well-known teen who was gunned down on a University Heights sidewalk believe gang violence is to blame.Police responded to a 911 call Tuesday at W. 176th Street and University Avenue where they found 16-year-old Rayvon Irvin with a gunshot wound to his torso. Authorities say the victim was later pronounced dead at St. Barnabas Hospital.

A makeshift memorial with a cross made out of police tape from the crime scene and candles sit where the teen lost his life.

Residents describe Irvin as an enthusiastic young man who loved to play basketball. Some say he is the victim of a neighborhood that has changed for the worse. They complain young people are often hanging out on street corners and fighting.

Irvin's aunt, Rachel Ewell, disputes rumors that Irvin was in a gang. "It's just him and a bunch of his friends that hang out together and if they want to call that a gang, so be it," said Ewell. She said even though Irvin, who lived with his aunt, was not in school, he was looking forward to working this summer.Investigators have not confirmed whether the shooting was gang-related. The shooter remains at large.

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