A beloved East Harlem teen was the innocent victim of a coldblooded drive-by shooting early yesterday gunned down as she sat with friends in the courtyard of her mom’s apartment building, sources said.
Cheyenne Baez, 17, collapsed outside 112 E. 128th St., leaving a trail of blood from the playground where she was struck.
The teen, a student at the Urban Assembly School of Business for Young Women, was pronounced dead 25 minutes later at Harlem Hospital.
“She told the friend she was with, ‘I’m cold. I think I was shot,’ “ said Taisha Velez, describing the heartbreaking last words of the popular teen nicknamed “Canela,” Spanish for cinnamon.
Sources said they believe a gunman in a van opened fire into the courtyard where Baez and friends gathered. Witnesses said several other men had snuck into the area through a fence just moments before shots rang out.
“It had something to do with another girl and an old boyfriend-new boyfriend,” a source said. “Cheyenne had nothing to do with it.”
Minutes after the gunfire, a 30-year-old man who had been in the courtyard was found on East 126th Street, a bullet in his thigh, cops said. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital in stable condition.
“Cheyenne was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said neighbor Nancy Black, 55.
Family and friends described Baez as an ambitious and popular teen who worked at an East 82nd Street Pinkberry store and wanted to become an accountant.
“She wanted to take me to the movies next week,” said grieving mom Lisa Baez, 36.
An innocent life taken away too soon. My prayers go out to the entire Baez Family!