Mom of ‘Law & Order’ extra shot in Bronx deli calls for more cops

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The mom of the “Law & Order” extra who was ambushed and killed in a Bronx deli tearfully pleaded for more cops in her neighborhood Sunday as she held the bloody durag he was wearing when he died.

Marisol Sanchez, 46, said her son Jayquan Lewis, known as JJ, might still be alive if there were more cops around to deter criminals.

“There is no police presence around here,” Sanchez said of her Fordham Manor neighborhood, located in the NYPD’s 52nd Precinct. 

“All that funding stuff with the cops, defund the police,” she explained. “After that we only see them when there’s an emergency. Before that, they were all here, all the time. Now you never see them unless something bad is happening.”  

The “defund the police” movement escalated across the country last year following the death of George Floyd, who was killed by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

Sanchez said she didn’t watch the disturbing 14-second surveillance clip showing her 21-year-old son’s slaying Friday afternoon inside B.H. Gourmet Deli on Bainbridge Avenue. Her husband, however, did watch the attack.

Victim Jayquan Lewis, 21, pictured center, went to buy a cold drink at the deli in the Bronx at 2550 Bainbridge Avenue, and was shot and killed.

“He broke down on the floor crying after watching the video,” she said. “I can’t watch it. He told me my son didn’t see it coming.”

She said a woman who lives near the deli told her she heard an argument outside the store just before shots rang out.

In the video, the shooter walks past a man standing near the deli’s door, then lifts his arm and begins blasting directly at Lewis. He was hit three times in the chest, three times in the arm and once in the stomach, police sources said.

Police investigate outside the deli where Jayquan Lewis was killed.
Police investigate outside the deli where Jayquan Lewis was killed.
Peter Gerber

There were no arrests as of Sunday, police said. They also didn’t reveal what the motive was in the shooting.

Sanchez, a retired US Postal Service supervisor, said Lewis was a good man who went out of his way to take care of troubled teens in the neighborhood. She previously said he was an extra on the beloved crime series “Law & Order.”

“He was a mentor to the younger kids here,” she said. “The ones kicked out of their homes, he would let them sleep in his room, come to take showers. I had to say, ‘JJ, this is not a foster home!’ He always tried to help. He would feed them. Tell them to get back in school.” 

Marisol  Sanchez seen inside the deli where her son was murdered.
Marisol Sanchez seen inside the deli where her son was murdered.
Tomas E. Gaston

Sanchez, who has two other sons, wept as she held her dead son’s durag outside the family’s home.

“He wore this durag because it gives you waves in the hair and it’s cool,” she said. “I took this off his head after.”

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