HIGHBRIDGE, the Bronx — An 18-year-old man died after he was stabbed, doused with gasoline and set on fire in a Highbridge apartment building on Wednesday, police said.
Winston Ortiz was reportedly in an argument with his assailant before the attack shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday in a fifth-floor hallway of a building on Woodycrest Avenue near West 165th Street. Ortiz did not live in the building and it's not yet clear why he was there.
Police said Ortiz was stabbed three times in his torso before being doused with an accelerant and set on fire.
Neighbors smelled fire and heard Ortiz scream, police said. They came to his aid and poured water on him.
Officers responding to reports of an assault found the teenage victim barely conscious with extensive burns and stab wounds to his chest.
The teen was rushed to a local hospital in critical condition but succumbed to his injuries
Ortiz's family told PIX11's Anthony DiLorenzo that the teen had just broken up with his girlfriend days before his murder.
They are now wondering if that had something to do with the deadly attack.
Police have not confirmed this information or commented on it as a possible motive.
Ortiz was "loved by all who came to know him," his aunt wrote on a GoFundMe campaign setup to help ease financial costs as his parents prepare to bury their child.
"He was active in his church and a role model for all of his younger brothers and cousins. Hew as bound for greatness," his family wrote.
The teen is survived by his mother and father, two younger brothers, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, according to the post.
No arrests have been made.
Police sources told PIX11 they were looking into a potential suspect described as a teen, about 17 years old, last seen wearing all black, a book bag and a surgical mask.
Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).