November 27, 2022
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Bronx teen playing with toy water gun fatally shot by correction officer: NYPD

 

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A young man firing a toy water gun was fatally shot in the Bronx early Thursday — and an off-duty city Department of Correction officer was later arrested for the slaying.

Dion Middleton, 45, was hit with murder, manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon for the death of Raymond Chaluisant, 18.

According to police, Chaluisant was shooting a toy water gun from inside a car and Middleton allegedly shot him with his own weapon, firing more than once, sources said.

It was unclear who Chaluisant had been aiming at, cops said.

But Chaluisant’s older sister, Jiraida Esquilin, 29, said her little brother was just taking part in a water gun fight with neighborhood friends on a hot summer night.

“I can’t believe a corrections officer killed my brother,” Esquilin said. “Everything nowadays is a rage thing.”

“They were just having fun,” she said. “It’s a new nerf gun that shoots water. The whole neighborhood was having a water gun fight. It was 90 degrees.”

Esquilin said her devastated family was already grieving the loss of her father, who died five months ago. She added that her mother couldn’t identify her fatally wounded son, asserting he’d been shot at close range in the chin.

The fatal shooting took place at Cross Bronx Expressway and Morris Ave., but Chaluisant was found a half mile away, cops said. He was unconscious in the passenger seat of a silver Acura when cops arrived at 1:35 a.m. at the Grand Concourse and E. Tremont Ave. in Mount Hope.

The teen was rushed to St. Barnabas Hospital but he could not be saved.

Police sources said Chaluisant was firing an “Orbeez” gun, which resembles a pistol and shoots gel water beads propelled by a spring-loaded air pump.

They are considered air rifles, and are unlawful to possess in NYC, cops said Thursday.

Middleton works in training at the NYPD shooting range in Rodman’s Neck, and he allegedly went to work following the fatal shooting, sources said.

Police tracked down Middleton through surveillance canvassing, following his vehicle. The corrections officer was arrested at work in Rodman’s Neck, earlier today, cops said.

Police said they recovered a shell casing at the scene but later determined Chaluisant was actually shot nearly a half-mile away at Morris Ave. and the Cross Bronx Expressway.

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