By CRA News Service
DELRAY BEACH – Gunshots disrupted a quiet block in the city’s northwest neighborhood Tuesday night when someone fired three bullets into a man, killing him in his home.
Traivis Bell, 29, who recently moved to the area from Boynton Beach, was shot at least once in the back of the head. He died in the house.
“This is a quiet neighborhood,” said Trinetta Barr, 49, who grew up in the apartment adjacent to where Bell was shot, and until nine years ago lived in that unit. “We’ve never had anything like this around here.”
The shooting occurred around 7:30 p.m. at 104 NW 12th Avenue, police said.
A resident in the apartment adjacent to the crime scene was forced to wait outside until investigators were done looking for clues.
As police cordoned off the area from the intersection of NW 12th Avenue and 1st Street, hundreds of onlookers, some emotionally charged, watched from behind the yellow tape.
But shortly before a professional removal company removed the body from the house, a woman, claiming to be a cousin, broke through the tape forcing police to use more than a dozen cars to create a barricade. Police took away at least two women from the scene after they went under the police tape and tried to rush to the house.
“He’s my cousin and he didn’t deserve to die like that,” one woman kept saying as she yelled.
The smell of marijuana permeated the air.
Officers threatened to use teargas to disperse the crowd, and one officer toted a black container akin to a fire extinguisher, and thought to contain the chemical agent.
Several melees erupted and a handful of Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called in for crowd control. Two Sheriff’s Office helicopters hovered ahead and conducted surveillance.
Police said they have no suspect.
Bell is the son of Clifford Bell, the Delray Beach resident who owned and operated Bell’s Quick Stop at the intersection of Martin Luther King and Seacrest boulevards in Boynton Beach for several years. The victim made his first rent payment to his landlord last Friday, relatives said.
Bell lost a brother, Clifford Bell Jr., 17, in a lovers’ triangle shooting on May 3, 1998. Terence Hunter, 19, of Delray Beach, was charged with the murder of Bell.
After the shooting, a melee broke out between officers and some of about 150 bystanders at the scene. Two people were arrested, including Traivis Bell, then 19, and charged him with criminal mischief and obstruction after both ran past police tape toward Clifford Bell’s body, police said. One police department employee was injured.
Approximately 30 of the 200 people in the surrounding crowd followed Andrews and Traivis Bell, starting a melee that included members of Bell’s family. They have said police used excessive force to control the charging crowd.
Anyone with information about Tuesday’s shooting is asked to call police at 561-243-7800.