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Friends, family say 14-year-old killed on basketball court had bright future

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    New York (WCBS) — Police are looking for two men wanted in the fatal shooting of a 14-year-old boy at a Queens basketball court.

The memorial continues to grow for Amir Griffin.

The teenager was on a basketball court Saturday evening when someone in the area fired a gun, killing him. Police believe he was just an innocent bystander.

Police are looking for two men spotted running from the area moments after the gunshots went off Saturday night.

Grieving family members and friends visited the memorial Monday. It’s made up of candles and balloons and is located at the basketball court at the Baisley Park Houses, where Griffin was playing when his life was cut short.

Police say he was in the stomach by a bullet fired more than 100 yards away.

“We call him Buddy. We know him as Buddy. He says ‘Buddy got shot and he passed away.’ I said ‘you gotta be kidding me,’” said family fried Joan Ricketts. “I couldn’t come yesterday because my heart was broken, because I knew that I held that little boy in my arms a lot of times.”

Griffin had just made the junior varsity basketball team at Benjamin Cardozo high school last week.

“Just so so sad to see someone like that go. He was a really good kid,” said sophomore Yanni Mousios.

“Recently, he actually hit a half court buzzer beater for the win,” said head coach Ron Naclerio.

Naclerio said Griffin was a player with a lot of potential.

“Last week at this time he’s trying out, looking really talented, really excited to be part of the Cardozo basketball legacy. It’s really, really sad.”

Grief counselors were at the school today. He’ll be remembered by the basketball team Monday night.

“He was such an amazing kid, super funny,” said sophomore Jayda Cabrera.

“I was mad close to him. I just can’t believe that happened,” Shaw Cuffie said. “He was a good basketball player. He was a good sport, and that’s crazy how that just happen to him.”

“He always stood for his own. It’s just crazy the way he went out,” added friend Saniyah Harris. “He has such a future. Such potential with his career and where he was going.”

“He just was a bubbly kid,” Naclerio said. “He just would work, work, work, work, and, unfortunately, him wanting to go outside in the park right next to his house last night, 8 o’clock, they have some lights. Unfortunately, being out there cost him his life, which is not fair.”

Heartbroken family and friends are hoping the men turn themselves in.

“As a mother, as a father, we all need to get together and control this. It’s out of hand now. It’s really out of hand,” Ricketts said.

Police have questioned one person, but so far, no arrests. An NYPD Community Affairs officer told CBS2’s Alice Gainer that two police officer are assigned at the basketball courts usually and often play basketball with the teens there.

Officers were in the area at the time of the shooting, though they were not playing basketball with the teens then, the NYPD said.

Anyone who has information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-8477 or for Spanish, 1-888-577-4782. Tips can also be sent to the NYPDTips Twitter account or submitted online at NYPDCrimeStoppers.com.

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CNN

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