Crime and Safety

Suspect in NYC shooting of 15-year-old boy arrested after months on the run in upstate: sources

Law enforcement sources said Wednesday that a teenager was detained in the upstate in connection with the shooting of a 15-year-old boy who was shot dead in a Brooklyn park back in September.

Sources told The Post that the young suspect, who investigators believe had been on the run for nearly five months, was apprehended in Binghamton early Wednesday morning.

He is expected to be charged with the murder of Unique Smith on the afternoon of September 8, who was shot in the stomach by one of two masked thugs who asked about his gang affiliation, the sources said.

Smith, a student at Brooklyn Lab Charter School, was sitting on a bench in McLaughlin Park with two school-age girls around 1:40 p.m. when the suspects questioned him, authorities and sources previously said.

“Words were exchanged and a fight ensued,” detectives chief James Essig said at a press conference. “The man, who is described as dressed all in black and wearing a black mask, pulled out a firearm once and stabbed our victim.”

The two suspects then fled the park on Tillary Street towards Adams, Essig said.

Suspect in NYC shooting of 15-year-old boy arrested after months on the run in upstate: sources
A suspect has been detained in Binghamton in connection with the death of 15-year-old Eunick Smith in September.

According to Essig, there were at least 30 other people in the park at the time.

The teenager was rushed to Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Smith’s grandfather, Kenneth Davis, told The Post at the time that he was offering a $5,000 reward to anyone who ratted out the boy’s killer.

“Write it in your paper: $5,000 reward from grandpa,” he said.

Davis said the teen’s family, including his mother, “fell apart” at the news of his death.

15-year-old Eunick Smith was taken to an ambulance at Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The teenager was interrogated about his gang affiliation before he was shot dead, sources said.
William Farrington for the NY Post

“He’s a terrific young man,” Davis said of Smith. “He helps around the house. He is energetic. He’s just an average 15 year old. It is sad.”

Davis said he didn’t know why anyone would do this to his grandson.

“I just hope we catch these idiots running around with these weapons,” Davis said. “It’s just sad that these weapons are flooding the community. The police are doing their best, but guns keep raining down here.”

Police said there was no indication that Smith was a member of the gang.

The teen’s neighbor, Mary Beloti, 64, agreed.

NYPD cops search McLaughlin Park for clues.
Smith, a Brooklyn Lab Charter School student, was “only 15,” his grandfather said.
William Farrington for the NY Post

“Definitely not,” she told The Post in September. “I can’t wrap my head around it, I really can’t. He is a fine young man. A very respectable young man. He went to school, played his music, played video games and didn’t bother anyone.”

However, Beloti said the locals were worried about Smith’s new group of friends.

“He had no problems,” she said. “I think that was the company he made up. We were all very worried about these boys he was hanging around with.

“Those new boys,” she added. “Not his friends, but these new boys.

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