A memorial for a 16-year-old who was fatally shot on the Lower East Side last Friday descended into chaos on Wednesday afternoon. Police previously released surveillance video of four men who they believe killed Raphael Ward for his Marmot winter parka last week. Yesterday was his memorial service—a witness who was stopped in traffic on the 2nd Avenue bus saw the fight happen outside the Provenzano Lanza Funeral Home on 2nd Avenue between E. 3rd and E. 2nd Streets: "It was sickening, and really weird to see."
The witness, who spoke with us on the condition that we only publish his first name, John, told us he saw "a huge mass" of teenagers crowded around the front of Lanza's as the bus approached 3rd Street: "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." As the bus started to move, people started running down the street in all directions—as you can see in the photos above.
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.
John added the crowd of kids then went into the subway as the bus pulled away. You can see more photos from the scene at EV Grieve.
Police have made one arrest in the case so far: Timothy Montalvo, 16, has been charged with criminal possession of a weapon and murder. It is unclear if he’s suspected of shooting Ward. Police are still looking for the other three suspects.