MALDEN — Police have charged a teenager from Malden with shooting another 17-year-old Monday morning in a restaurant parking lot during a brazen daylight attack.
Tyrell Berberena Jr., of Malden, was charged with armed assault to murder and possession of a high-capacity firearm, said Stephanie Chelf-Guyotte, spokeswoman for the office of Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr.
“The defendant and victim were known to each other, and this is not random,” Chelf- Guyotte said. The condition of the male victim was not released.
Police are trying to determine a motive for the 10:31 a.m. attack. Berberena is expected to be arraigned Tuesday in Malden District Court.
The victim was riding a bicycle through the parking lot of the Sun Kong restaurant at 275 Eastern Ave. when he was shot, authorities said. He was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital where he was being treated, said Chelf-Guyotte.
Two witnesses who saw the attack said three young men were standing on the corner of Warren and Eastern avenues where the restaurant is located. They said one person in the group, dressed in a black sweatshirt with the hood up, pulled out a black handgun, pointed it at the youth on the bike, and fired four or five shots.
According to police and witnesses, the three suspects fled west on Eastern Avenue to a house on Wyeth Street where Berberena was arrested.
The witnesses said the chilling encounter lasted only a few seconds.
“I saw the whole thing,” said John Stelmach, 38, of Malden, a driver for Malden Taxi who was standing in the doorway of the business on Eastern Avenue when he heard the shots.
“I was watching traffic, and I saw a group of kids,’’ said Stelmach. “I saw one kid who was standing on the sidewalk pull out a gun and just start shooting. After the kid did the four or five shots, he turned around and started walking nonchalantly down Eastern Avenue. It was crazy.”
Another driver for the taxi company, Nancy Kjersgard, 46, said she was driving on Eastern Avenue when she passed the restaurant, looked into the its parking lot, and watched as the young bicyclist fell to the pavement.
“I saw the kid go down,” said Kjersgard, still shaking from shock. “Then the kid that shot him started walking away like it was nothing.”