A vigil held Monday for a 16-year-old who was shot and killed by police this past weekend turned violent when 50 of 200 mourners started rioting, destroying public property and assaulting random residents in Brooklyn, New York.
Saturday night, Kimani “Kiki” Gray, a reputed Bloods gang member, was shot multiple times by two police officers after he allegedly pulled a revolver on the officers. Gray was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Officials said they recovered a .38 caliber black revolver containing four slugs in the cylinder from the scene.
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On Monday night, a group broke away from the vigil around 9 p.m., the New York Daily News reported.
The group, comprised mostly of teens, vented their frustrations with the teen's shooting that they consider unjust by trashing local stores, assaulting passersby, smashing car windows, and tearing up trash bags, releasing garbage onto streets.
A nearby Rite Aid was particularly ruined.
"They poured in here, like 40 or 50 of them. They pulled the registers off the counter. They flipped over everything. They punched me in the face, several of them did, not just one. It was insane," said Lorenzo Evans, 56, manager of the Rite Aid.
At least two customers and a security guard were also assaulted during the riot, Evans said.
In addition to the Rite Aid store, the mob also attacked a bodega and CD-DVD store.
"They knocked on my door, broke the glass, and ran in. They were throwing the DVDs around," Mamadou Bah, 31, owner of Hallmark African Movies, told The Daily News.
The violent teens also smashed more than 50 cars' windows and an MTA bus' windshield.
At one point, the rioters threw fruit and bottles at responding police officers.
Anger over Gray's death apparently triggered the riots
. Friends and family claim Gray did not have a gun on him when he was shot.
"He got shot six times, and the police didn’t get shot once," Brenda Nunez, Gray's great-aunt, fumed to The New York Post. "They didn’t get injured. This cannot go like this. This is murder!"
Gray's cousin, Malik Vernon, disputed the police report that said the 16-year-old was in possession of a gun.
"Cops say he had a gun," Vernon said. "If he did have a gun, I could say, 'Yo, get rid of that, son. That’s not the right thing to have right now.'"
Considering his age, Gray had an extensive criminal record. He was arrested four times on charges including grand larceny, possession of stolen property, and inciting a riot, sources said.
Police said they do not know who led the riot and they did not disclose how many arrests they made Monday night, if any.
Gray's fellow gang members are clearly upset with the circumstances, a law enforcement source told the Post.
"This is not sitting well with the Bloods," the source was quoted as saying.
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The crowd reportedly dispersed near midnight, but said they would return Tuesday night for another vigil at 7 p.m.
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