NEW YORK CITY — The mother of a teenager shot and killed during last week's J'Ouvert celebration in Crown Heights is raising money to bury her son in their native Trinidad.
Alima Borel St. Clair, whose son Tyreke Borel, 17, was shot to death just before the parade began, started a GoFundMe account on Sept. 6 through her cousin, Siulan Thomas, seeking to raise $10,000 in order to have the boy's body moved to Trinidad for a funeral.
The page, which was first reported Saturday by the Daily News, had raised more than $1,300 as of Sunday morning.
Borel was on the parade route near the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Empire Boulevard about 4 a.m. on Sept. 5 when he was shot in the chest, officials said. He was rushed to Kings County Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
Neighbors and friends remembered Borel as a quiet, polite young man who loved fixing cars. Supporters of the fundraising efforts flooded the GoFundMe page with condolences for the teen's family.
"We are heart broken," said one family. "Tyreke will be deeply missed. He was the sweetest boy with a very kind heart. He was very loving and always polite. My girls loved when he would come over because he always played with them."
"Tyreke was a valuable member of Professional Pathways High School," one of his teachers wrote. "He will be missed."
Borel was one of two people fatally shot on the parade route. Less than 30 minutes after he was killed, 22-year-old St. John's accounting student Tiarah Payou was shot at "point blank" range in the face while celebrating with three friends along Empire Boulevard near McKeever Place at 4:14 a.m., police said. Two others were also injured in shootings, including a 72-year-old woman who was hospitalized with a gunshot wound to the arm.
Police on Tuesday arrested Regeneld Moise, 20, and charged him with murder Thursday in connection with Payou's death. There have been no arrests in Borel's shooting.
The latest spate of J'Ouvert violence has once again raised questions over whether the parade should be shut down, just one year after the shooting death of Gov. Andrew Cuomo aide Carey Gabay. Some, like Brooklyn Assemblyman Walter Mosley, have said the gun violence outweighs the cultural significance of the pre-dawn celebration.
"I can no longer support this event and hope for the best when it comes to the well-being of our fellow New Yorkers,” read a statement from Mosley on Tuesday.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton last week called the celebration a "singular" event in regards to its violence, and questioned its "peculiarities," including the early-morning kickoff. Bratton added that the NYPD would "try to adjust" if J'Ouvert continues next year.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, who increased police presence as part of his promise to make the event "safer than ever," has stopped short of saying the event should be canceled, in part because of what he said was its spontaneous nature.
But the city would consider moving the celebration to daylight hours and screening the marchers, de Blasio said.