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Arrest in hit and run that killed Brooklyn teen

January 6, 2012 4:28:24 AM PST
A teenager was killed after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver in Brooklyn Wednesday. That driver is now under arrest and facing a list of charges.

The 14-year-old victim was headed to the store for his mother when he was hit by a 2011 Ford Econoline van while crossing Flatlands Avenue near East 54th Street around 7:30 p.m.

"How could you do that? He's 14 years old. How could you leave a dying child in the street like that," said Sharon Pemberton, the victim's aunt.

Sharon Pemberton says her nephew Devonte Jeffers was a down to earth 14-year-old boy.

His family says friends nicknamed him "DJ Fresh" because he loved music.

"He was quiet a very respectable boy. We loved him a lot," Pemberton said.

Devonte stopped by a bodega Wednesday night then walked back to his sister's apartment a block away.

Police say the man in the back of the police cruiser mowed him down on busy Flatlands Avenue between 54th and 55th Streets.

Paul Griffin, 41, was caught at Avenue I and 55th Street as he allegedly tried to get away.

Witnesses say he sped off in this 2011 red Ford Econoline van, the smashed headlight and deployed airbag screamed for attention.

"I saw a car hitting a person. Then I saw a nurse helping. He wasn't breathing he got hit bad," said Mohammad Nagi, a witness.

Jeffers' close friends set up a Facebook page remembering the teen and how special he was to them.

Now, his family is demanding justice for a life cut entirely too short.

"I hugged him. I said I'll see you before you leave. I didn't even get to say goodbye," Pemberton said.

Griffin has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident with serious injuries and aggravated unlicensed operated of a vehicle. Additional charges are pending.

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