Last Friday, 16-year-old Raphael Ward was shot and killed for his jacket on the Lower East Side. In a sad turn of events, a fight broke out at his memorial service yesterday outside of the Provenzano Lanza Funeral Home on 2nd Avenue between East 3rd and East 2nd Streets. A witness called it "sickening, and really weird to see."
The witness, who Gothamist says asked to be identified as "John," said that he saw a "huge mass" of teenagers in front of the funeral home as the bus he was on approached 3rd Avenue: "We see the crowd shift, I see an older man with a cane shouting and being pushed by a teenager, and there's the guy in a suit trying to separate them."
When the bus began to move, people began running down the street in every direction. It got worse:
Halfway down the block, I see a group form in front of 23 Second avenue. One kid had something in his hand—it looked like a metal rod from a bedframe, and he was violently swinging it, bringing it down on the ground. There was a car parked next to him, so I couldn't see what was on the ground, just the upper half of his body.
According to John, the kids ran into the subway as the bus pulled off. Police have arrested 16-year-old Timothy Montalvo and charged him with criminal possession of a weapon and murder. It's unclear if he's suspected of shooting Ward, and police are still searching for the three other suspects.