A fight between two groups of teenagers, organized over cellphone text messages, turned deadly when a 15-year-old participant in the Bronx street brawl was shot and killed, authorities said Tuesday.
The two groups had agreed to meet under the elevated tracks of the number 2 and 5 subway lines on White Plains Road near East 219th Street in the Williamsbridge section at about 6:00 p.m. Monday, a law-enforcement official with knowledge of the case said. It was the culmination of a three-week-old feud, the cause of which police are still trying to determine, the official said.
The verbal dispute quickly turned violent, and five shots were fired at Philip Johnson, the official said. Mr. Johnson was struck twice in the chest and stumbled into a restaurant, Arkansas Fried Chicken, where he was “in and out of consciousness,” the official said.
He was taken by ambulance to Jacobi Medical Center where he was pronounced dead on arrival, police said.
The suspected shooter fled and was being sought by detectives Tuesday. The official said a friend of the victim identified the shooter, who was known to Mr. Johnson. He was not named, but described as a 17-year-old boy who apparently intended to target Mr. Johnson.
The suspected killer has prior arrests, including one for a robbery with a firearm, the official said.
Police said five .25-caliber shell casings were recovered at the scene.