It was Halloween night on Lafayette Avenue in the Bronx. Inside a deli, chaos erupted as teenagers threw eggs. Police say the altercation continued about 10 minutes later, three blocks away at the Soundview Houses. A gunman arrived and shot into the crowd, hitting three innocent bystanders. 16-year-old Luis Vargas was shot in the head.
"I got numb. I was numb," his father, Edwin, said, describing getting the phone call.
His family rushed to Jacobi Medical Center. They held vigil for three days, but Luis died.
"We donated his organs and we saved a lot of lives, including a 16-year-old young lady who lives in this neighborhood," Edwin Vargas said. "So, she received one of his kidneys. So some good came out of this tragedy."
As the Vargas family mourns a life cut short, detectives still scour the neighborhood, looking for clues and information about the shooting.
"The individuals seen exiting the bodega, may be one of the shooters involved," said Detective Anthony Leitao, examining surveillance video of the egg-throwing incident.
Leitao heads the investigation for the 43rd Precinct Detective Squad. He says Luis and the other bystanders who were hit were not part of the egg-throwing incident; they just happened to be in the wrong place when the shots were fired.
"To shoot at a group of people because he thinks he threw eggs at him or his crew and causing someone to lose their life is completely senseless and dangerous," the detective said.
As the anniversary of Luis's death approaches, his family tried to remember better times. They're $10,000 to the $2,500 in reward money that police offered, hoping that whoever is responsible for Luis's death is taken off the streets for good.
"You terrorized not only my family and I, but our entire community. You're going to get caught. And it's only a matter of time," Edwin Vargas said, fighting back tears.
Anyone with information on the case should contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-8477, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com