Woodside teen shot in Queensbridge, died later at hospital: police

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A 19-year-old man from the Woodside Houses was shot in the head at the Queensbridge Houses early Tuesday morning and died the same day at Weill Cornell Medical Center, the NYPD said. This is the third murder that the NYPD has reported in the Queensbridge Houses this year.

“He was a good kid. I really didn’t expect this,” said Mylasja Brown, 16, a friend of the victim Mark Torres. “I knew him for seven years. It wasn’t supposed to happen like this.”

Torres, who lived in the Woodside Houses, had turned 19 two weeks ago, friends said.

Police responded to the call of a man shot at 41-03 Vernon Blvd. at Queensbridge Houses at 1:22 a.m. and found Torres alive and with a gunshot wound to his head. Torres was listed in critical condition when he arrived at Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan but died later in the day, police said. No arrests have been made in the incident, police said.

Brown said she heard Torres was pronounced dead at 2:17 p.m. Tuesday. She said she and Torres had been at a July 4 barbecue at the Woodside Houses shortly before the incident.

“Everybody’s taking it hard,” Brown said.

Torres had an extensive arrest history for drugs and assault, police said.

Family members of Torres knew of the priors but said the 19-year-old man, who they referred to by the nickname of “Sukie,” was well-loved by the Woodsbridge Houses community. Family and friends set up a large makeshift memorial with photos of Torres, cards, empty liquor bottles, blue and white candles, pink roses and a poster board where loved ones left notes.

“He had a lot of love. He was loved,” said a family member who requested not to be named. “He was important to a lot of people.”

Queensbridge residents interviewed by the TimesLedger Newspapers said they knew very little about details of the incident, with most saying they had been away for the holiday weekend.

“I know a lot of crazy stuff has been happening,” said 23-year-old resident Vanessa Rosado. “There’s been a lot of shootings.”

Rosado said Torres’ death was not far from the spot where Tara Webb, 27, was killed in March. Webb's sister Melanie was charged in her murder, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Both women were residents of Queensbridge, the DA said.

In January a Rochdale man, 39-year-old Clarence Williamson, was also found dead at Queensbridge Houses with a gunshot wound in his left shoulder. The NYPD said they were searching for 27-year-old Devon Smith, who police believe has ties to the incident, but have made no arrests.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

Updated 11:09 am, October 12, 2011
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