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16-year-old girl killed on school steps was straight A-student with 'beautiful soul'

The 16-year-old girl who was shot dead Friday after getting caught in the crossfire of a gunfight near her South Bronx high school was a straight A-student and a “beautiful soul,” her grieving aunts told The Post.

Angellyh Yambo became the latest casualty of New York City’s spiraling gun crisis when two “brazen criminals” opened fire a block from University Prep Charter High School at around 1:45 p.m., striking her and two other teens, according to police and her relatives.

“She was a girl who went to school and came straight home. She was never in the street,” aunt Margarita Yambo said of her late niece. “She was one of the sweetest girls you’d ever meet.”

The teenager’s parents are “devastated,” said Yambo, 38, whose brother is Angellyh’s father.

Another aunt, Elvia Henriquez, 36, described the slain girl as “loving, caring.”

Henriquez said her sister, Angellyh’s mother, “has not said much,” as she’s “still in shock.”

“She’s in very big disbelief at the moment,” Henriquez said.

Police had not officially released the girl’s name Friday night, but both aunts confirmed the loss of their beloved niece, who NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell described earlier Friday as “a young woman with a bright future.”

NYPD Chief Timothy McCormack of Bronx Detectives said the violence began when a man started “gesturing to somebody” across the street, pulled a gun and started firing as schoolkids walked nearby after class.

It was just the latest in a string of shootings that have left children across the city dead or wounded this year.

“I’m scared every single day to go outside because of this gun violence,” Margarita Yambo said.

“Put more cops in the street, every corner. I don’t know. I don’t know,” she continued, her voice breaking. “This isn’t something that should have happened.

“I hope they find these animals,” she added about the gunman. “Turn themselves in or I hope the cops get them and they serve a lifetime in jail.”

Yambo told The Post her niece was a “good girl,” who stayed out of trouble and was focused on her school work.

“She was a beautiful soul. She was a straight-A student,” the grieving Bronx woman said in a phone interview.

Police respond to a shooting at East 154 in the Bronx on April 8, 2022.James Messerschmidt for the NY Post

“She had her whole life in front of her.”

The slain teen had three brothers and was “a great big sister,” said Yambo, adding that her niece “loved make up” and was excelling at it.

Henriquez, the sister of the victim’s mother, said Angellyh’s siblings were “having a really hard time” dealing with their sister’s senseless death.

“Be mindful of what you’re doing during a dispute,” the distraught aunt said. “Think before you do anything. People, innocent people are losing their lives over situations that are not worth it.”

“She was a girl who went to school and came straight home. She was never in the street,” Angellyh’s aunt Margarita Yambo said. This photo was taken in 2019.Facebook/Angellyh Yambo

The super of a building near the scene of the shooting at East 156th Street said the slain girl’s mother arrived after first responders tried in vain to resuscitate her daughter, who was shot in the torso.

“The mother was screaming hysterically. The police were holding her back,” he told The Post. “I felt her pain in her scream. There is nothing stronger than a mother’s scream.”

Video showed police officers performing chest compressions on the girl while she lay splayed out in a pool of blood on the sidewalk.

“She didn’t deserve to be put down the way she was . . . I am heartbroken,” said Hazel Cheeseboro, Angellyh childhood best friend. “Her mom was heartbroken. She is trying to hang in there, but she’s not feeling that great. I mean, she just lost her daughter, but she’s trying.”

The 15-year-old girl shared fond memories of Angellyh as she spoke to The Post through tears at the East 156th building both teens called home.

“She always looked at the bright side, never the bad side of anything. That was her,” said Cheeseboro, who learned of the tragedy by seeing “RIP Angellyh” posts on Facebook.

“She was a fun person to be around. She didn’t like seeing nobody mad or sad at all. She always cheered people up. If you were down, she was the person to call.”

Angellyh liked to play video games like “Call of Duty” and “Fortnite” and jammed out to the music of Beyoncé and Rihanna, her pal said.

“She had her whole life in front of her.” Margarita Yambo told The Post.

The teen said her friend had just started at University Prep for ninth grade. When the two last saw each other last Saturday, Angellyh was excited about making new friends at school and applying for summer jobs.

The two other injured teens attended Mott Haven Village Preparatory High School and University Heights Secondary School, which are situated on the same campus as the slain girl’s high school.

The suspect, believed to be in his 20s, jumped into a vehicle and fled.

Police respond to a shooting at East 154 in the Bronx on April 8, 2022.James Messerschmidt for the NY Post

Angellyh Yambo was 16 years old. Here, she poses with friends in 2018.

Angellyh Yambo was 16 years old. Here, she poses with friends in 2018.


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