Denzel Bimpey, a college freshman, was eagerly anticipating the comforts of a home-cooked meal in the Bronx and the familiar warmth of his family as Christmas celebrations beckoned right after his first-semester finals.
His family had lovingly prepared for his arrival with gifts and festive food, but their hope for a merry and tranquil Christmas was shattered. Denzel, 18, was tragically killed in a knife attack just as he disembarked from the bus in Midtown Manhattan on a fateful Friday evening.
Arriving from SUNY Morrisville after a five-hour journey, he was all set to enjoy his winter break with his beloved mother and siblings, completely unaware of the cruel twist of fate that awaited him. The college freshman’s return to his home turned into a devastating nightmare as he received fatal stab wounds moments after stepping off the bus. An excessively promising life was unjustly and prematurely truncated.
Denzel’s sister, Godslove Nti, aged 28, recounted his final journey in a heart-wrenching conversation with the Daily News.
He had messaged her expecting to reach home by 10 p.m. Along with his expected arrival time, he never missed adding those three tender words – ‘I love you’ at the end of every conversation they had, a pattern of affection that Godslove found endearing, even when their discussions were heated.
His life tragically ended roughly 40 minutes after his anticipated return. Law enforcement officers discovered him grievously wounded in a blood-streaked scene, with stab wounds to his chest, shoulder, and arm on Park Avenue South, near East 26th Street, in the Flatiron District. Despite the medical team’s best efforts at Bellevue Hospital, his injuries were too severe for him to endure.
According to the police, Denzel was assaulted during an altercation with his assailant, but no arrests have been made. This unclaimed responsibility leaves him to be the city’s most recent unsolved murder mystery. As investigations continue, his dreams and aspirations harken a sorrowful memory.
Presiding at SUNY Morrisville, Denzel chose to major in business, skillfully assimilating into the campus life that was quite different from his city upbringing. His campus, surrounded by miles of greenery and farm landscapes, offered a distinctly rural ambiance more or less alien for city dwellers. This meant he had limited food options, making his homecomings even more relishing with the thought of mum’s mouth-watering meals.
On his plans upon reaching home was to request his mother to cook Jollof, a traditional West African rice delicacy. His mother, along with his other brother, had designated Friday for this purpose. Denzel was ably guided and supported by his family members who were all college-educated and had firsthand experience of the challenges he faced as a fresher.
The family, who in the past had humble resources, were making special preparations to celebrate Christmas that year in all its glory. Nti revealed, ‘We had just erected our Christmas tree and had planned to infuse the festive atmosphere with carols. It would have been our second genuine Christmas celebration.’ Unfortunately, what should have been their joyous celebration had transformed into a period of mourning.
Local news outlets and social media platforms teemed with information suggesting the link between Denzel’s horrific death and an imminent feud among local Bronx street gangs. According to NBC New York, he might have engaged in an altercation with his two assailants on the bus, eventually leading to the fatal incident.
Known affectionately amongst his friendly circle as ‘Droy,’ Denzel left an indelible imprint on the hearts of all who knew him. Nti expressed ignorance about the exact circumstances that led to her brother’s untimely demise. But she expressed resentment towards the online trolls exploiting her brother’s sudden death. Several instigating posts, including on Denzel’s Instagram, ridiculed his tragic end.
Nti emphasized that the police were keeping a vigil eye on those posts. She pledged unabated, ‘The culprit will not find refuge. The law enforcement officials will definitely track him down. Any form of cyberbullying or harassment must be put to an end. The distasteful humor reflecting on this serious event is deplorable. It’s not a mother’s duty to lay her child to rest. My grandmother should not witness her grandson’s burial.’
Being a fervent basketball enthusiast, Denzel envisioned establishing a career on the business side of sports with an ultimate goal of owning a company. ‘He had grand aspirations,’ revealed his grieving sister. A loyal fan of LeBron James, he planned on liberating his mother from a life of hardship.
Denzel’s basketball appreciation was absolute, and his dedication to LeBron James was unwavering. ‘He was persuaded about LeBron being the optimal player. He was well-versed with the stats, followed basketball since the ’90s, and tracked LeBron’s entire journey from Cleveland to Miami and back,’ his sister remembered. Although he was the lone LeBron fan at home, and despite friendly banter suggesting LeBron wasn’t the best, he held his ground, defending his idol passionately.
Being second youngest in a family of five siblings, Denzel held a significant place in their cherished traditions. During financially tough times, the siblings would wear pajamas and capture these moments in collective photographs. But this Christmas was meant to be different. ‘I had bought him some clothes, including his favored Nike Tech, and a cologne, Chanel Bleu,’ Nti regretfully recalled. ‘I’ve always wanted them to possess the finest things.’
Now, Nti harbors apprehensions about the impending Christmas celebrations. ‘Denzel’s younger brother, being merely 11 months apart, is in deep anguish, terrified to even step out,’ she shared, struggling with the pain. ‘Denzel was full of life, had such immense aspirations. He was the heart of every gathering, loved to jest, and his smile was infectious.’