A 15-year-old boy has died following a shooting Sunday evening, Lincoln police said.
Lincoln Public Schools officials let Lincoln Northeast High School families know Monday morning by email that Ali Al-Burkat, a junior at the school, had died in the shooting.
Police were called to the area of Seventh Street and Fletcher Avenue on a report of gunshots just after 10 p.m.
Police Chief Jeff Bliemeister said the teenager had been a backseat passenger in a vehicle when he was shot on the street that comes to a dead end at Interstate 80 near The Fairways at Lincoln apartment complex.
Bliemeister said two other males in the car drove the victim to the Walgreens at 14th and Superior streets, a distance of about 2 miles, where they stopped and tried to get help. An employee called 911, sending emergency crews to the pharmacy parking lot.
There, CPR was performed before Al-Burkat was taken to a Lincoln hospital, where he died, police said.
Bliemeister said Monday an autopsy has been scheduled.
Northeast teachers read a statement to students in classes telling them of Al-Burkat's death, and letting them know the district's crisis team was available for anyone who wanted to talk.
Some students made their way to the Walgreens parking lot Monday.
"He was the funniest kid on the block," said a friend, who asked not to be identified. "If you were in a bad mood that kid was on the ball."
She said he never wronged anyone, and was a good soccer player.
"He would always kick my butt in soccer when we'd play at the YMCA."
Destiny Munoz, a North Star student, came with two friends to remember the young man she'd become friends with when they attended Culler Middle School together.
"He was the nicest person," she said.
Meanwhile, investigators and crime scene technicians continued to work the scene on Seventh Street, south of Fletcher Avenue and adjacent to the sprawling apartment complex in northwest Lincoln. Bliemeister said they have recovered shell casings.
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"The release of extensive details at this time may jeopardize the integrity of this ongoing investigation," police said in a news release.
Bliemeister said they have recovered video from multiple locations and will be processing and reviewing it as well.
Bliemeister said they have the vehicle in which Al-Burkat was shot but don’t yet know how many shots struck it, if there were multiple shooters, if the shots were fired at the boy or if he was struck as a result of random gunfire.
“The events that preceded it are really what we’re interested in,” the police chief said Monday.
He said they were working to interview not only the two others in the vehicle, but also others who live in the area to try to piece together what happened.
Bliemeister said there was nothing to indicate this was a retaliatory shooting but cautioned that the investigation was in its early stages.
Andy Ringsmuth, who lives a little more than a mile from where the teenager was shot, said he was shocked to hear the news.
"It hits pretty close to home. I have a 14-year-old son, and it’s terrifying to realize Ali was about the same age as him," he said.
He said he drives right past there to go grocery shopping in Fallbrook, and his son has friends who live in the apartments there.
"As a Northeast alum, my heart breaks for the students and staff who will be struggling to come to terms with this tragedy,” Ringsmuth said.
The email to Northeast families asked anyone with information to call the police at 441-6000 or Crime Stoppers at 475-3600.
Bliemeister made the same plea to Lincoln residents.
“Right now we need the public’s assistance,” he said.