Darius Lee, who was named the Houston Baptist University Robbie Robertson Male Student-Athlete of the Year, was attending a family gathering when he was shot and killed.
The group was celebrating the holiday weekend when at about 12:45 a.m. at least two gunmen opened fire striking seven men and two women along a footpath off of the FDR Drive near 139th Street and Fifth Avenue, said police sources.
As many as 150 bullets were fired during the shootout.
Lee was rushed to Lincoln Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
"We are devastated. Darius was a remarkable young man who loved the Lord, his mom, his family, his teammates, his friends and his entire HBU family," said basketball coach Ron Cottrell via the school's website.
"We are in shock and cannot wrap our heads around this news. My heart breaks for his mom, his sister and his entire family, and for our basketball team. The only thing we find comfort in right now is knowing where Darius is. He is in the arms of Jesus… we know that as fact. And we will see him again some day."
The other victims were as old as 42. They were expected to make a full recovery, according to New York City police.
Officers recovered a gun at the scene as they investigated what lead to the shooting.
"The emboldened individuals responsible for this is exactly who our officers are battling every day to make our cities safe," said NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell during a briefing at the scene.
Darius Lee, 21, who was named the Houston Baptist University Robbie Robertson Male Student-Athlete of the Year, was attending a family gathering in East Harlem on June 20, 2022 when he was shot and killed. (Credit: HBU)
The Harlem mass shooting came nearly 24 hours after another shooting in Ozone Park, Queens involving a semi-automatic rifle where one man was killed, and two others were injured.
The shootings come amid national concern over gun violence and as the U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether to strike down a law that makes it difficult to legally carry a handgun in New York. Shootings are down 11% so far this year in New York City, compared to last year. Murders are down 12% but are still at their second-highest level since 2012.