A teenager who told his mother he feared for his life was fatally shot late Wednesday night on a Hempstead street as he hung out with friends, police and his family said Thursday.
Nassau County police, who said they are investigating the shooting death of a "male victim," did not identify him, but his mother and grandmother said the victim is Dante James Quinones-Wright, 17. Police said they found the victim on the street after the shooting, just before 10 p.m. No arrests have been made.
Chrissie Quinones said her son was hanging with friends on Dartmouth Street in Hempstead when he was shot three times -- in the heart, stomach and groin -- over what she said was an earlier disagreement. She said she got to the scene five minutes before an ambulance and was able to speak to her son, who she said was crying out for help and saying he was in pain.
"I just told him I loved him," said Chrissie Quinones, 34, who works in customer service and is separated from Dante's father, who she said is incarcerated in federal prison on drug charges. "I can't believe my child is gone. I don't wish this on no mother. They took everything from me."
Quinones-Wright was taken to Winthrop-University Hospital, where he died. She said doctors told her they worked to resuscitate her son for 30 minutes.
James Greene, who lives on Dartmouth Street, said he heard about four shots and went outside to investigate. "There were three or four guys near a car and I saw a body fall," said Greene, 84, a retired tailor, who said he ducked for cover. "It is scary. It wouldn't be so scary if I thought it would be the last time, but it's just one of many."
Quinones, who has two daughters, ages 15 and 19, said her son began hanging with "the wrong kids" at about 14 -- around the time his dad went to jail.
She said her son began to fear for his life in recent months and his anxiety deepened after he had a falling-out with a friend a few weeks ago. "He used to tell me that someone was trying to hurt him, someone was trying to kill him," she said.
She said he had been charged in the juvenile court system with criminal mischief and put on probation. First he complied with the terms, which included counseling, but was sentenced to juvenile detention in late 2011 when a judge ruled he had violated probation, she said.
Dante spent 10 months at a facility in Poughkeepsie, and she had high hopes he would improve. But he kept getting into trouble, so she moved him from Hempstead High School to Malverne. "No matter what we did, he still didn't listen," she said of several family interventions. "We tried our best to prevent this."
The Malverne School District superintendent said in a statement that Quinones-Wright attended the district in 2011-12, and officials extend their "deepest condolences."
Lenora Quinones, 60, of West Hempstead, the teen's maternal grandmother, came to the shooting scene Thursday morning holding white lilies, which she left at a small street-side memorial that included four teddy bears and nine candles.
The teen's aunt said the family is struggling. "We can't kind of wrap our heads around this," said Mia Quinones, 32, of West Hempstead. "We're trying to cope and rely on our faith in the Lord."
With John Valenti
and Joie Tyrrell