BRADENTON -- Zory Jenkins, 16, didn't live in the "The Block," the neighborhood surrounding the 700 block of 12th Avenue West in Bradenton, but he loved playing basketball there, friends and family said Sunday.
Jenkins was shot to death by unknown assailants in the 700 block of 12th Avenue West around 11:12 p.m. Saturday, according to the Bradenton Police Department.
Officers getting gasoline at a city facility in the 700 block of 13th Avenue reportedly heard several gunshots. Officers flooded the area and found Jenkins' Zory's body in the 700 block of 12th Avenue West.
Police said there were no witnesses to the third homicide of the year in Bradenton.
"We have no suspects as yet," said Bradenton police Capt. William Fowler. "We are looking for people to come forward with information."
Jenkins was a sophomore at Southeast High School, according to his best friend, Rosby Peterson, also 16, who attended school with him.
"He was real funny, always telling jokes," Peterson recalled of his friend.
According to several accounts, including one from neighbor Cornelius Clayton, the victim was sitting on a white chair in the front of 712 12th Ave. W. when he was shot in a drive-by shooting.
Clayton also said Sunday he did not know what the motive could have been. Neighbors said they didn't see a vehicle or the shooters.
"He was a nice, quiet boy," said neighbor Ruby Muller. "He didn't mess with anyone. He loved playing with the kids."
Zory lived in the 1600 block of 14th Avenue East, according to a police report.
The Manatee County Homicide Task Force is investigating.
Friends and family said he tried out for the Southeast High School basketball team.
Jenkins' sister, Johnisha McNear, said she could not figure why her brother was targeted.
"He was a nice boy and just 16," McNear said. "Rosby was his only friend."
Anyone with information about this case can call Bradenton Police Detective James Curulla at 941-747-3011, ext. 2224, or remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-866-634-8477 (TIPS) or send an anonymous e-tip to manateecrimestoppers.com.
Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7072 or contact him via Twitter@RichardDymond.