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Family of fatally shot teen seeks witnesses

Chrissie Quinones, whose son Dante was fatally shot

Chrissie Quinones, whose son Dante was fatally shot on Dartmouth Street in Hempstead, stands with Corey Pegues of the Long Island Law Enforcement Alliance. (Sept. 13, 2013) Credit: Howard Schnapp

The family of a teenager who was fatally shot on a Hempstead street while hanging out with friends urged witnesses Friday to help police catch the killer or killers.

The 17-year-old's uncle, speaking at the scene of the Dartmouth Street shooting, said he wants whoever was responsible to be arrested and held accountable. But uncle Eddie Gordon asked that "no one retaliate" for the Wednesday night slaying.

Addressing those behind the attack, he said: "We forgive you. We love you. You hurt us, but we don't want to hurt you."

Nassau police haven't released the victim's name, but Chrissie Quinones, 34, of Hempstead, has identified the victim as her son, Dante James Quinones-Wright.

Quinones, Gordon and their supporters called on neighbors and witnesses to call Nassau Crime Stoppers at 800-244-TIPS with any information about the shooting.

"You can share it anonymously," Gordon said. "There is no reason for you to hold it to yourself."

As of Friday night, no arrests had been made, police said. Other details about the shooting, including a possible motive, have not been released.

Alesha Smith, 29, said Friday that she was home with her young children Wednesday night when she heard seven gunshots.

Smith looked out her window and saw Dante, whom she knew casually, crawling from the other side of Dartmouth toward her side of the street. A group of about five people tended to Dante while another group scattered before police arrived, Smith said.

"It's just so sad," she said.

In an interview Thursday, Quinones said her son was shot three times -- in the heart, stomach and groin -- over an apparent dispute with a former friend.

Dante was taken by ambulance to Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

Quinones said Dante told her previously that he feared for his life, an anxiety that deepened in recent weeks after he had a falling-out with the friend.

Dante began hanging around with "the wrong kids" at about 14 -- near the time his father went to prison on drug charges, Quinones said.

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