18-Year-Old Dies After He Is Stabbed and Set on Fire in the Bronx


An 18-year-old died after he was stabbed and set on fire in the hallway of a Bronx apartment building on Wednesday afternoon, the police said.

The teenager, Winston Ortiz, was engulfed in flames when the police found him unconscious just after 3 p.m. on the fifth floor of the building at 1045 Woodycrest Avenue, near Yankee Stadium. He had multiple stab wounds, the police said, and hours later died at a hospital in Harlem.

The gruesome attack comes as New York City wrestles with a spike in violent crime. So far this year, shootings are up nearly 75 percent over the same period last year, and homicides have risen by about 30 percent.

The killing occurred on the same block where two men were shot standing outside a bodega on Tuesday, the police said, but no link had been found between the two incidents.

The teenager lived one block away from where he was killed, the police said.

Neighbors described Mr. Ortiz as a young man who was close to his family and seemed focused on school and baseball. He had graduated from high school and planned to go to college, one of them said.

Jose Suarez, a truck driver who lives one floor above the Ortiz family, said he rarely saw Mr. Ortiz socializing with other teenagers in the street.

“They were a good family,” Mr. Suarez said. “They go to church every weekend. I don’t have one thing negative to say.”

Trishell Figueroa, also a resident at the building where Mr. Ortiz lived, recalled seeing the teenager pass her in hallways, often times carrying a bible in his hand. She said he played baseball and was “always with his family.”

“It’s heartbreaking, because I’ve never seen anything else but going to work and going to church,” said Ms. Figueroa, who has lived in the building for about 14 years.

Alex Paulino, 50, frequently visits the building because his two children and their mother live there. Mr. Paulino said the news of the killing had given him goose bumps. He had attended church with the family on several occasions, he said.

“That’s a good family. They go to church three times a week,” Mr. Paulino said. “I will not be sleeping, only thinking. Because I have my two daughters here.”

As of Thursday morning, no arrests had been made in Mr. Ortiz’s killing, and the police said the investigation was continuing.

Derek M. Norman and Edgar Sandoval contributed reporting.



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