A black teen-ager was shot to death in an attack by a gang of young whites carrying baseball bats and seeking revenge for a friend whose girlfriend spurned him to date blacks and Latinos, police said today.
Yusef Hawkins, 16, was fatally shot during the confrontation Wednesday night with a gang of whites waiting outside an apartment where a party for the young woman's 18th birthday was under way, police said.
The gang apparently mistook Hawkins and three other blacks for the woman's new male friends, police said. The four black youths had gone to the predominantly white Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn to buy a used car.
Police were investigating the killing of Hawkins as a racially motivated incident. Witnesses heard some of the whites, identified as neighborhood youths, utter racial epithets, Commissioner Benjamin Ward said.
The white gang, referring to the youths, shouted, "Is this the ---- boyfriend?" Deputy Commissioner of Public Information Alice McGillion said.
The 9:30 p.m. attack began when some of the whites, waiting outside the party, followed Hawkins and the black teen-agers after they walked past the group and turned onto a nearby avenue, Ward said.
"The former boyfriend and a group of his friends waited outside the apartment for the girl's new friends to arrive," Ward said. "The four black youths, on their way to buy the used car which had been advertised, unknowingly walked into the white group."
Hawkins was shot twice in the chest during the attack in which he and his friends were surrounded by as many as 30 bat-wielding white youths about a block away from the party, Ward said. A total of four shots were fired.
Hawkins died later at Maimonides Medical Center.