A big-hearted Brooklyn college student was shot dead early Thursday after he ran to a troubled friend’s defense in Crown Heights, police and family members say.
Witnesses told police a gunman blasted Jason Henry, 21, when he intervened in an argument on Empire Blvd. near Utica Ave. at 3:26 a.m.
The accounting major, who lived nearby on Midwood St., died at the scene, police said.
No arrests have been made.
Family members say Henry rushed out of his home at 1 a.m. after receiving a text from his friend Jamel Williams, a high school dropout who was in an ongoing dispute with another man.
“(Williams) said he needed help,” said Henry’s friend Krystan Burnett, 21. “Someone in his building was going to fight him and he called for backup. He didn’t know if the fight was going to be one-on-one.”
NYPD detectives took Williams in for questioning hours after Henry was killed, a neighbor said. He was released, but could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Henry’s family called the longtime pal a “troubled friend.”
“I told Jason over and over to leave (Williams) alone,” Henry’s mother Andrea told the Daily News. “You can’t change people.”
Henry was working torward a master’s degree in accounting at Long Island University’s Brooklyn campus, his mother said. To help pay for tuition, he worked at the school lounge. He also delivered pizzas for Domino’s.
“He was the best kid a mother could ask for,” she said. “He wasn’t a street kid. He went to school and tried to do his best.”
Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call CrimeStoppers at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.