WILSON’S LOCAL PRINT AND DIGITAL COMMUNITY INSTITUTION SINCE 1896

Police: Teen shot, killed near his home

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Wilson police are investigating a Friday night shooting that claimed a teenager’s life.

Officers were called to a 9:34 p.m. shooting reported at the Speedway convenience store at 1602 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and found 16-year-old Luiz Bravo of Wilson suffering from a gunshot wound around the corner on Freeman Street, according to police spokesman Sgt. Steve Stroud.

Police, firefighters and medics attempted to revive Bravo, who succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Rachel Rodriguez, who is a cousin of the victim’s mother, said Luiz was working to provide for his 1-year-old daughter and had plans to earn his GED and enlist in the Army.

“He was just a boy that had a lot of dreams,” she said.

Rodriguez was at her brother Jesus Rodriguez’s Freeman Street home for a cookout Saturday afternoon. The siblings said Luiz lived on Freeman Street with his mom and he frequently walked to the Speedway where the shooting call came in.

“Every time I see him, he was walking to the store to grab a drink, grab a soda or whatever and just go back home,” Jesus Rodriguez said.

Luiz didn’t appear to have any enemies and wasn’t the type to spend a lot of time partying.

“He would just take care of the little girl,” Jesus Rodriguez explained. “He was at the house all the time — work, home, work, home, that’s it. He wouldn’t bother nobody. He was really quiet.”

Rachel Rodriguez said she learned about the fatal shooting Friday night.

“When we came from the store, we just saw a whole bunch of police,” she said. “We didn’t know what was going on, then his mom texted me and told me it was her son who had passed away.”

She shared snapshots of a smiling Luiz Bravo posing in an orange Tommy Hilfiger jacket and in a tan suit he wore to his mother’s wedding.

Jesus Rodriguez said he recently moved to his Freeman Street apartment from Walstonburg and gets along well with his neighbors. He hasn’t noticed much crime, but he said police cars aren’t an unfamiliar sight on the narrow residential street.

Police say the shooting remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call the Wilson Police Department at 252-399-2323 or Crime Stoppers at 252-243-2255.

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