Shooting victim that sparked toddler's murder dies

Kihary Blue / file photo

A former star athlete has died in what police are calling a gang-related shooting.

According to Syracuse Police, 19-year-old Kihary Blue of Syracuse died Thursday morning from injuries sustained in a shooting that took place last week. Police say on Friday night Blue was riding in a vehicle on Interstate 81 near the Interstate 690 interchange when he was shot by someone in a passing vehicle. Blue was taken to Upstate University Hospital with critical injuries, where he later died.

20-year-old Jarrel Williams, also of Syracuse, was also shot in the same incident and suffered non life-threatening injuries.

Blue was a former star quarterback and point guard at Henninger High School. He was a team captain, Section III champion, and a former CNY Central Action News Athlete. He graduated in 2008, had attended college in North Carolina, and was preparing to transfer to Monroe Community College in Rochester in January.

Coaches gathered at Henninger High School Thursday to share their memories of Blue.

"On the field, he was always the kid who could make a play when you need the play done," says Blue's former football coach David Kline. "In school, he was the kid who was going to do the right thing. He was always smiling. He lit up a room whenever he walked into it."

"He was a lot of fun. He was a great kid. He was a leader," says basketball caoch Erik Saroney. "He was gone way too young."

Saroney says Blue's family decided to donate his organs to help others.

Police say Blue's death is the 16th homicide in Syracuse in 2010. They believe the shooting that killed Blue sparked a retaliatory shooting that killed 20-month-old toddler Rahsaad Walker, Jr. of Syracuse. Walker was sitting in a minivan with his parents and other passengers Sunday evening when he was hit by gunfire. Police announced the arrest of 21-year-old Saquan Evans of South Salina Street in Syracuse on Tuesday and charged him with second degree murder in the death of Walker, Jr.

Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler said Tuesday that Blue was not a gang member " but his shooting was gang-related. Police say Evans is a member of the Bricktown Gang and Rahsaad Walker Sr., the alleged target of Evans and the toddler's father, is a member of the 110 Gang.

Police shut down the I-81/I-690 interchange for a couple of hours Sunday while they combed the scene for evidence.

No arrests have been announced in Blue's death, but police say the investigation into both shootings continues. Anyone with information on either incident is asked to call the Syracuse Police Department at 442-5222.