A New York City teen is dead after being stabbed, drenched in gasoline and set ablaze by an unknown suspect.
Winston Ortiz, 18, got into a verbal dispute with an unknown person Wednesday afternoon that resulted in the suspect attacking Ortiz and stabbing him multiple times on the fifth floor of a building in the Highbridge section of the Bronx, authorities said, according to New York’s WABC-TV.
It’s unclear what the dispute was about. Ortiz apparently didn’t live in the building; a GoFundMe page started by his family said he was visiting a friend.
After stabbing Ortiz in the torso, the man poured gasoline on him, lit a match, and set him on fire. The suspect then fled the scene, according to the New York Post
Ortiz called for help and residents of the building responded, attempting to douse the flames with buckets of water.
“I step outside. I saw flames,” an unidentified woman told the New York Post, saying she was alerted to the scene by another resident’s screaming.
“I thought her apartment was on fire. And when I go over there, I saw a guy in flames all over his body,” she told the outlet.
Responding authorities found Ortiz unconscious and suffering extensive burns and stab injuries, a spokesperson for the New York City Police Department told Oxygen.com. He was taken to an area hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
“There are no arrests at this time and the investigation remains ongoing,” the NYPD told Oxygen.com.
Relatives for Ortiz mourned his death.
“My heart is so broken into pieces and beyond consoling. Please pray for our family and especially for my brother and sister in-law,” Victoria Ortiz, the victim’s aunt, wrote in a Facebook post.
“He was never involved in any gang or drug activities. He always was in the house and always would help with whatever was asked. He didn’t deserve this,” she told Oxygen.com.
Victoria Ortiz organized the GoFundMe to help ease financial costs for Winston’s family. The fundraiser had exceeded its goal of $10,000 as of Thursday morning.
“Winston Ortiz was loved by all who came to know him. He was active in his church and a role model for all of his younger brothers and cousins. … After leaving his home to go see a friend, he was brutally murdered by cowards. He is survived by his mother and father, 2 younger brothers, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins,” the fundraiser page read.
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