NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A 16-year-old high school sophomore was shot and killed Monday night in New Haven.

New Haven police said Mark Mulongo was sitting alone in his neighbor’s car in a shared driveway just before 8:30 p.m. on Shelton Avenue when he was shot once.

The teen was taken to a hospital, where police said he was pronounced dead.

Nellya Mbala, the victim’s mother, said she keeps expecting to see her only child walk through the door.

“It’s like a dream,” she told News 8. “I don’t believe it. I don’t believe it. He was a good boy. You can ask everyone on the street. People know something. I know that.”

Loved ones remember the teenager for his big heart and love for basketball. Police said Mulongo was playing basketball near Reed and Shelton streets earlier in the evening.

“He was a great kid,” said John Murphy, Mulongo’s father. “He was always happy. He was always loving and caring to all people.”

Mark Mulongo
Mark Mulongo (Family provided photo)

Dr. Iline Tracey, superintendent of New Haven Public Schools, said Mulongo was a sophomore at Hillhouse High School.

“The death of this energetic, sweet young man is a profound loss felt by all members of the New Haven community,” Tracey said.

The school district is providing students and staff counseling and support.

New Haven police are canvassing the neighborhood for surveillance video and speaking with witnesses.

“At this point in the investigation, it doesn’t appear he was the intended target,” New Haven police Chief Karl Jacobson said. “Even if you feel it’s something small, we need every bit of information to bring justice to this family.”

Anyone with information is asked to call (203) 946-6304 or the anonymous tipline at 866-888-TIPS (8477).  

The video below aired in our 11 p.m. newscast on May 29, 2023.