MORRISANIA — It was the second time relatives and friends had gathered at the site of Reynaldo Cuevas's tragic death, after the young bodega clerk was unintentionally shot by a police officer early Friday morning.
On Friday, as friends gathered in disbelief at the corner near Aneurys Deli Grocery, anger and rage at the incident and police boiled over, and accusations of police misconduct pervaded.
By Saturday, under dark and heavy skies, the 5 p.m. gathering had a more somber tone than before, with local clergy leading group prayers and offering consolation.
The cry for justice remained, though mainly in the prayers and on posters.
Cuevas was shot by a cop, after masked robbers burst into the store at 1299 Franklin Avenue as it was closing Friday morning at 2 a.m. One pistol-whipped the deli's manager, and the men had been ordered to lie on the floor.
As police arrived, in response to a passerby's phone call, the robbers panicked, and the two workers fled the store in the melee. That's when Cuevas sprinted into a officer who had his weapon drawn, causing the gun to fire into Cuevas's left shoulder, Commissioner Ray Kelly said.
Ana Cuevas, the mother of the victim, told the Daily News it felt like she had died. "It's like they killed me," she said, before making the trip Friday to identify her son's body at a Bronx hospital, the paper reported.
Cuevas, who met with Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly Friday, told the Daily News that he said to her it was the cop's fault.
“He told me it was the fault of the police officer,” she told the paper. “I want justice,” she added. “They could have avoided the death."