An 18-year-old Harlem teen was shot dead early Friday morning outside his girlfriend's birthday party by an alleged romantic rival. Walter Sumpter was found with a gunshot wound to the chest outside 254 W. 154th St. just after midnight Friday. The shooting took place outside his girlfriend's 17th birthday party at a local community center: “It all took place outside. The girl wasn’t there, but it looks like a friend of the gunman called him and told him [Sumpter] was there,” a source told the News.
The community hall doesn't allow alcohol, and patted down the approximately 25 party attendees before they entered. One witness described hearing the gunshots to DNAInfo: "I was busy ducking. There are things happening that you don't want to see." Friends and family gathered Friday afternoon to put up a memorial to Sumpter outside the Police Athletic League's Harlem Center near his home on Morningside Avenue and West 119th Street: “He was a boy that loved to make everybody laugh, no matter what,” a 16-year-old girl, whose cousin was Sumpter’s best friend, told the News. “My cousin and I are bawling in tears right now. ”
Ruqqiyah Husam, program manager for the Police Academy League center, said Sumpter, whose nickname was "Reck," was a regular attendee of the night program three days per week, playing basketball, using computer center and game room and participating in job readiness programs. "He was well-mannered and a jokester. He had a lot of personality and wasn't disrespectful," she told DNAInfo.