The 16-year-old boy slain on the Lower East Side Friday night was a gangbanger with a lengthy rap sheet who was more than likely targeted for death — and is at least the 22nd teen killed by street violence in the Big Apple this year, law enforcement sources said.
Isaiah Levine was a reputed member of the Pitt Street Crew and had notched 11 felony arrests between 2018 to 2021, ranging from gun possession and robbery with a knife to a slashing arrest and criminal mischief for allegedly jumping and stomping on a teacher’s car in November 2018, the sources said.
Levine was hanging out with a group on the corner of Delancey and Suffolk streets when a gunman approached and started blasting at around 8:30 p.m., fatally striking the teen in the face, cops and sources said. Levine was rushed to Bellevue Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
“He wasn’t a kid who stayed inside,” said a man in his late 20s who said he knew Levine, who lived in the nearby Baruch Houses. “He wasn’t going to school. He wasn’t the kid when you hear this you go ‘Wow, I never expect this.’ You expect it. He was living the life…“I feel sorry for what happened though. He was young,” the man said near the shooting scene.
Levine was being eyed in a string of robberies against Asian-Americans on the Lower East Side and was a suspect in an area homicide, police sources said.
He was out on the street after being arrested in February on a gun charge, according to people familiar with the matter. That case, which occurred on Staten Island, is sealed, they said.
Levine’s last open case is for a robbery that occurred Jan. 22, 2020. He was last in court for that matter on Sept. 2, sources said. The case was adjourned to Nov. 9.
Family and friends at the Baruch Houses were overcome with grief Saturday morning.
“I’m trying to get myself together,” his distraught mother, Valerie, told The Post.
A teenage girl who knew Levine for four years burst into tears when a Post reporter showed her his picture.
“Oh my God, it’s Zay!” she said, a reference to Levine’s street name. “He is the sweetest thing ever. He don’t bother nobody,” she said wiping tears from her eyes. She recalled that Levine had an older brother.
There have been no arrests in connection to the fatal shooting. Police sources said four men were spotted fleeing the location and five .40 caliber shell casings were recovered from the scene.
A Post analysis of NYPD data found that at least 21 children were killed by either guns or knives between January and Sept. 30 — more than triple the number for the same period in both 2019 and 2020.