Today’s news:

South Jamaica youth killed after holiday visit to granny

Eric Weaver, 17, of 139th Street in South Jamaica, died at Mary Immaculate Hospital after being shot once in the back at 12 a.m. Saturday, police said.

He was shot at the corner of 113th Road and Farmers Boulevard, where he had been walking with a 19-year-old man, police said. The two began to flee after being approached by two unidentified men, police said.

The 19-year-old, identified by Weaver's mother as the boy's second cousin MalikSpeller of Hollis, was also shot once in the buttocks and once in the left thigh, police said. He was taken to Mary Immaculate Hospital in stable condition by private means, police said.

No arrests had been made as of Sunday.

"That's my only baby," a distraught Lisa Weaver, 38, said as she wept on the phone.

Weaver said she did not know who might have killed her son or why but said Speller "gets into confrontations with some of the guys around here."

Weaver said her son had gone to the older teen's home to bring a Christmas present to their grandmother. The two had left that house to go to the store when they were shot, she said.

"I told him it's best to stay away," she said, but "with the holidays, he had to go over there."

Eric Weaver was working on his high school equivalency diploma with the hopes of going to college and playing basketball, his mother said.

Weaver was at least the 17th person to be killed in the 113th Precinct this year, according to police statistics through Dec. 21. The 2003 rate represents a 23 percent increase in the South Jamaica precinct over the 13 murders reported over the same period last year.

The murder figures from the 113th Precinct contributed to a 45.7 percent hike in Patrol Borough Queens South, a district that comprises eight precincts, including the 113th. Queens South recorded 86 murders through Dec. 21, a jump from the 59 reported in the same span in 2002, according to police statistics.

Reach reporter Ayala Ben-Yehuda by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

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