Mother of 21-year-old killed in NYC deli blames 'defund police' movement for son's murder

Mother of NYC murder victim calls on Mayor de Blasio to help with crime surge

Marisol Sanchez, the mother of Jayquan Lewis, who was shot and killed in a Bronx deli, blasted the "defund the police" movement and called on New York City to increase its police presence.

Marisol Sanchez, the mother of Jayquan Lewis, who was killed in a shooting at a New York City deli last week, blamed her son’s murder on the “defund the police” movement and called for an increased police presence in her community. 

Sanchez told “Fox & Friends” on Monday that she “absolutely” believes her son was murdered because of the lack of police officers in her Bronx neighborhood saying, “My son would be here today” had it not been for the calls to defund the police. 

She stressed that too many innocent people are dying “for no reason” and that there are too many guns on the streets of New York City. 

“We need protection,” she said, noting she hears gunshots daily and feared for her son’s safety due to murders in her neighborhood.

Lewis was an aspiring actor who once appeared as an extra on the show “Law & Order” and was about to start school to become a nurse, according to Sanchez. 

She told host Steve Doocy that her son was shot when he went to a neighborhood deli to buy a drink. She said that before he had left, she told him to “hurry up and come back” and that she didn’t want him to go to the store because of all the violence. 

Sanchez said, as she held back tears, that her son left the home, “closed the door and then he opened it back up and he said, ‘Mommy, I love you’ and I said, ‘I love you too baby.’” 

She said shortly thereafter she got a call from her husband that her son had been shot inside the store. 

Surveillance footage shows the moment a man inside the B.H. gourmet Deli in Fordham shot Lewis, 21, as he was standing at the counter, The New York Post reported. According to information from the New York City Police Department sent to Fox News, the shooting took place just after 4 p.m. on Friday. The gunman is then seen on video running out of the store. 

Sanchez told Doocy she went to the deli when she got the call from her husband to find emergency personnel performing CPR on her son. 

“I think my mind, my body wasn’t comprehending what was going on,” she said. “I was in shock.” 

Lewis was shot “multiple” times and was “lying unconscious and unresponsive” inside the deli when police had arrived on the scene, according to the NYPD. Police said Lewis was rushed to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing, according to police. 

The NYPD did not immediately respond to Fox News’ question regarding whether Lewis was the intended target, but Sanchez believes her son was mistakenly targeted.

According to NYPD crime statistics, through the week of August 8, there have been 942 shooting incidents so far this year in New York City, compared to 820 during the same time period in 2020, which is a 14.9% increase. 

Between Friday and Sunday at midnight, 35 people have been shot in the city during 24 shooting incidents, according to data sent to Fox News from the NYPD. 

Sanchez blamed the “defund the police” movement for all the violence and called on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to do something to alleviate the problem. 

She had this message for de Blasio: “Please help the communities here. We need the help.” 

A spokesperson for the mayor did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

Last summer, New York City lawmakers voted on budget changes that shifted $1 billion from the New York Police Department to programs that assist in youth and community development. 

The City Council said in a statement that the city’s 2021 budget included $837 million in cuts and transfers to the NYPD expense budget, which removes $1 billion from the NYPD’s spending when combined with associated costs.

Sanchez said that she used to see a large police presence in her Bronx neighborhood, but that has recently changed.

“You just don’t see them no more,” she said.

Fox News’ Caitlin McFall contributed to this report. 

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