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Man newly enlisted in Army shot to death outside NYC home he shared with mom

Police lights (Karl Merton Ferron/The Virginian-Pilot/TNS)

A Manhattan man who planned to follow in his brother’s footsteps by joining the military was shot to death outside the home he shared with his mom, police said Monday.

Kenneth Taveras, 33, was shot multiple times in the chest about 10:35 p.m. Sunday  in a parking lot at the Polo Grounds Towers, a NYCHA complex in Washington Heights, according to cops

“He was excited to join the Army,” the victim’s mother Juana Taveras said. “His elder brother was in the Navy and Marines but now he’s back. He always used to look up to his brother and was always interested in joining the services.”

Medics rushed Kenneth Taveras to Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx but he could not be saved.

The grieving mother was visiting relatives in Jersey City when she got the news.

“When I came back the area was taped and the police were here,” she said. “They had already taken him to the hospital. I could not even see him until this morning.”

Three to five men drove off in a black pick-up truck and are being sought, police said.

Kenneth Taveras had enlisted in the U.S. Army and was scheduled to report for duty in three months. He was enjoying letting his hair grow in the meantime, knowing he a buzz cut was in his future.

The parking lot where he was killed is just outside the building where Taveras, the youngest of five siblings, shared an apartment with his mother and sister.

“He grew up here,” the mother said. “We never bother anyone. I don’t talk to anyone much except saying hello. I don’t know who did this but I hope they have cameras in the parking lot. I think there are two cameras.”

“He was my baby,” she added. “When I last spoke to him yesterday, he was washing clothes in the washing machine.”

The grieving mother is mystified by a motive.

“No one has come to speak to me yet,” she said. “I have no idea what’s going on. No cops have told me anything.”

The victim had three arrests on his record, including busts for possession of a loaded gun and for assault, police sources said. His most recent arrest was in 2016.

Kenneth Taveras used to work for NYCHA before he took a job as a cleaner in a friend’s beauty salon near their home, his mother said. He had a girlfriend in Florida who was rushed to New York after getting the news.


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