Jonathan Lewis came as a mourner, and left as a murder victim. In a case of deadly déjà vu, the Bronx man was gunned down at a memorial vigil for a friend killed almost one year earlier on the same corner.
22 year old Lewis, was shot twice in his torso as he honored slain friend Michael Ikoli, seen below, killed last May near his Webster Ave. home by a gunman who remains on the streets.
“It shouldn’t have happened,” said a sobbing Cynthia Shields, the dead man’s mother, after the shooting. “He was paying his respects for his friend.”
The remorseless shooter was captured cowering beneath a van on E. 187th St., and a .38-caliber handgun was recovered at the murder scene, police said. Lewis, a calm, churchgoing man who swore off the street life, was warned by at least one friend that the vigil was fraught with gang-related peril.
“I told him not to go down there,” said Demetri Morrison, 19, who lived in the same building as Lewis. “I already had a bad feeling. . . . He said, ‘Everything’s going to be all right.’”
Lewis died on the ride to St. Barnabas Hospital, the same facility where Ikoli was DOA on May 3, 2011, after taking four bullets.
About 60 people lit candles at the outdoor memorial for Ikoli, who would have turned 25 on Wednesday. But the quiet vigil was interrupted by a blast of gunfire around 10:30 p.m.
Witnesses said the shooter asked one mourner, “What’s up?” before opening fire on Lewis, who staggered into the street and collapsed.
Murder suspect 18 year old Darrell Patillo, offered cops a bogus excuse about a Facebook feud when asked about the killing, the victim’s family said — but Lewis didn’t have a Facebook page.
“We don’t know why he killed my son,” said his mother. “We don’t.”