Boy's Joke Provokes Killing On Eve Of His 13th Birthday
BETH J. HARPAZ
Jul. 20, 1995
NEW YORK (AP) _ ``You got a quarter?''
It was an inside joke from a wisecracking 12-year-old boy, a question he'd posed a hundred times to the amusement of friends and family.
But this time, Quentin Carter delivered his trademark quip to the wrong person: a 16-year-old boy with a gun.
``He would say to everybody in the neighborhood, `You got a quarter?' But he was playing, making a joke,'' said a friend, Tariq Williams.
Quentin made the request for a quarter on Sunday, as he came out of a grocery store and crossed paths with Brian Wright, said police Capt. Bernard Gallespie.
When Wright refused, Quentin made a racial remark and Wright showed him a gun in his waistband, Gallespie said. Both boys are black.
``Oh, what you ought to do is shoot me now,'' Quentin reportedly said.
Police say when they crossed paths again the next day, Wright shot him five times.
Wright was charged with second-degree murder, which carries a penalty of 25 years to life in prison.
Witnesses told police Quentin had issued his challenge to Wright to ``shoot me now'' in a mocking way.
``And that's basically what this revolves around in the minds of these children _ that it's disrespect,'' Gallespie said Wednesday.
Quentin was three hours away from turning 13 when he died Monday night around the corner from the house in Queens Village where he lived with his mother, brother and five sisters ranging in age from 1 to 17.
His relatives had planned to celebrate with a party on Saturday. Instead they'll be attending his funeral.
On the patch of pavement where Quentin was murdered, an impromptu memorial was set up: a photo, a baseball cap, a couple of artificial flowers and 13 candles in tall glass containers.
``REST IN PEACE JUNE,'' read a sign referring to his nicknames, Junior or Junebug.
``June was everybody's little brother,'' explained Williams, one of a group of young men gathered at the site. ``He was everybody's little shorty.''