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Family of Bushwick Teen Killed by NYPD Demands Investigation Into Shooting

By Gwynne Hogan | February 23, 2017 11:55am
 Sergio Reyes's parents, Patricia Reyes and Antonio Tlapanco, spoke to reporters outside his funeral service in Williamsburg Thursday.
Sergio Reyes's parents, Patricia Reyes and Antonio Tlapanco, spoke to reporters outside his funeral service in Williamsburg Thursday.
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DNAinfo/Gwynne Hogan

WILLIAMSBURG — The family of a Bushwick teen shot 14 times by police after he allegedly robbed a bodega with a fake gun is demanding an independent investigation into their son's death.

"We want an investigation, independent from the police department," said Antonio Tlapanco, the father of Sergio Reyes, in Spanish outside his son's funeral Wednesday.

"Police have a job, a hard one, but it's not just for them to act as judge or jury... [Sergio] shouldn't have been condemned to death in the street."

Their call was joined Thursday by Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, who represents Brooklyn and who wrote to the Brooklyn DA echoing the request.

She wrote that the gunshot wounds to Reyes' torso, limbs, heart, lungs, aorta, spinal cord, liver, stomach and bones were “extremely alarming."

Reyes, who police said used the fake gun to rob a bodega of beer early Sunday, was shot after officers approached him a block away from the store.

Credit: Facebook

The Medical Examiner's office said he was hit by 14 bullets. The NYPD said the three officers fired a total of 19 bullets after he pointed his fake weapon at them.

Mohamed Ali, 19, who was working behind the counter at Garden Deli at 185 Starr St., said Reyes had pointed the gun at him and told him to bag four six-packs of beer. He then tucked the fake gun in his belt and left, the worker said.

A neighbor had already called the police and they were on scene within a few minutes, Ali said. Shots rang out just a minute or so after, he said.

Reyes's dad asked for the state's attorney general or Brooklyn's district attorney to head an investigation into what happened.

The attorney general's office said the shooting fell within the jurisdiction of the Brooklyn DA, a spokesman for whom said the incident is being reviewed.

Outside the funeral at Ortiz Funeral Home on Havemeyer Street in Williamsburg, Reyes's classmates, teachers and family members came to say their goodbyes.

"He was a really, really good person in school," said his friend Uriel Santos, 17, a senior at Leadership and Public Service High School in the Financial District.

"He had all his credits, all his Regents done. He was headed somewhere. He was looking forward to going to college. He didn't want to follow the same life as his parents."

Santos's older brother, Luis, another close friend of Reyes, said the teen wanted to be a social worker so he could help out neighborhood teens.

"He wanted to make a difference to the kids in the community," Luis Santos said. "He wanted to help people, kids like us, teenagers. They need somebody."