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A 19-year-old Brooklyn man was shot and killed while attempting to steal a backpack from the BJ’s parking lot in Bath Beach.
The victim and suspect entered the elevator on the third floor of the Shore Parkway parking lot just before 10:15 p.m. Thursday.
The 18-year-old suspect attempted to steal the victim’s backpack and the fight stretched to the first floor of the car park.
“All I heard was, ‘Get out of my bag!'” clerk Rodney Taylor said. “He was trying to grab the man’s report, or whatever was on him, and then the gunshots went off.”
The suspect opened fire, hitting 19-year-old Dereck Chen in the face and shoulder.
The gunman fled on foot, but as he exited the car park, he was confronted by responding police.
The gun was found near the scene of the shooting. Charges against the suspect are pending.
Chen was pronounced dead at NYU Langone Hospital in Brooklyn.
Detectives believe he was the victim of a random robbery attempt and there is no indication he knew the suspect.
The Chen family didn’t say much about the witness news, only that they needed time to process what happened.
“Why? There’s no reason this is happening,” said district resident and BJ member Dianne Defontes. “People are so desperate to have to steal another teen’s backpack. It’s ridiculous.”