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Neighbors Mourn Teen Killed in Alphabet City Shooting

By Patrick Hedlund | October 17, 2011 6:04pm

EAST VILLAGE — Family and friends mourned the death Monday of a local teen gunned down in Alphabet City a day earlier.

Donovan Salgado, 18, who went by his middle name Keith, was struck by gunfire just before 2 a.m. Sunday at the Campos Plaza housing complex on East 12th Street near Avenue C, the NYPD said.

The teenager, who lived a few blocks away on East Ninth Street, was taken to Bellevue Hospital in critical condition and died later from his injuries, police said.

There have been no arrests and an investigation is ongoing, police added.

Dozens of Salgado’s friends and neighbors gathered in front of a makeshift memorial outside his family's apartment between Avenues B and C Monday, to talk about the teen and question what went wrong.

“It was a silly thing with teenagers,” said Myrna Cantu, 39, who lived on the same floor as Salgado and said she watched him grow up. “It gets out of hand.”

She described the teen as “sociable” and “sweet,” saying he got along with everybody from skateboarders to punk rockers.

“Everybody knew him,” Cantu explained. “I never knew he had any enemies.”

Salgado’s one-time girlfriend, who met him at the church they both attended, said she exchanged messages with him online just hours before he was shot.

“He was a good kid stuck in the wrong crowd,” said Amber Turner, 17, of the Lower East Side. “Everything just turned around.”

Others remembered the Washington Irving High School senior, who friends said had an older and younger brother, as dependable and easygoing.

“He’s a person you can always count on. You could call him and he’d be there,” noted Mike De La Cruz, 20, who said he grew up with Salgado and his older brother. “He was laid back. He never really looked for problems.”

One of Salgado's younger neighbors said he would often stop by her apartment for a snack or to watch television, and that he never left the building without his skateboard or a basketball in hand.

“He was a really good kid. It’s just not right what happened to him,” said Cantu’s daughter, Querina Torres, 14. “This building’s going to be very different without him saying hello every day.”

A vigil for Salgado is scheduled for Tuesday at 8 p.m. on East 12th Street near Avenue C, where the shooting took place.