A 22-year-old ex-college basketball player was the unfortunate casualty in a shooting incident sparked by a stolen purse per reports.

The victim was identified as ex-college player Jesse Parrilla who was only giving his female friend, Nikki Huang, a lift at the time. The 22-year-old was not part of the issue between the rival Up the Hill and the Down the Hill crews per sources in a report from The Post.

It turns out that Huang told her gangster pals that a rival crew mugged her last Sunday, stealing her handbag.

“Right now it looks like he was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” one Manhattan cop said. “He has no criminal record. It looks like he was just hanging out with Nikki.”

Parilla was driving the car owned by his mother, Michelle Morales. She confirmed that her son and Huang knew each other since middle school.

“He was a good-hearted person just helping a friend out with a ride,” she said. “I don’t think he was aware of anything. He had no idea what was going on because he would never put himself in a situation like that.”

“I’m so angry and devastated and hurt that my son was taken away from me just like that. The last words he said to me when I was finally able to talk to him was, ‘I love you,'” she added.

The bodies of Parilla and Huang were found charred at around 4:30 a.m. on Monday, May 16, at the Pelham/Split Rock Golf Course in the Bronx.

The suspects behind the case are allegedly the Down the Hill Gang according to authorities. Huang allegedly had links to their rival gang, the Up the Hill gang.

Also, police sources said the two gangs are second-generation Big Apple crews, with Down the Hill calling Alphabet City its turf and Up the Hill controlling the Lower East Side.

Crime Scene
Image Shutterstock/ Fer Gregory

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