Marvin Ray Maynard III was threatened just days before someone gunned him down Sunday a block from his mother's house, relatives said Tuesday.

The 16-year-old begged for his life before he was shot in the 2600 block of James Avenue N. about noon, said his mother, Javona M. Singleton, and grandmother, Robin Eastman. Maynard was the city's sixth homicide victim this year and the second teenager in a row to be killed.

"He was no angel -- teenagers do their thing -- but overall, he was a good kid," Eastman said. "He was just a good boy, well-loved by everybody."

Singleton said some of her son's friends and relatives told her that on Friday someone threatened to kill or harm him. Eastman said the witnesses wouldn't give specifics about the threat because they feared retaliation. Maynard allegedly was threatened while at his stepmother's house a few blocks from his own in north Minneapolis.

Singleton and Eastman said they are unsure why Maynard was targeted.

Police spokesman Sgt. Jesse Garcia said the case is under investigation and would not discuss details. As of Tuesday, police had made no arrests nor released any suspect descriptions. Police also had not disclosed a suspected motive.

Singleton said her son had just arrived back in Minneapolis about a month ago after time in a juvenile correctional facility in Red Wing, Minn. He had planned to start high school soon, play basketball and try to "get his life back on track." Maynard was the second oldest of five children. Besides his mother, he is survived by two brothers, two sisters and his father.

Eastman said the investigation has been stifled because people are too afraid to come forward with information.

Eastman and Singleton asked community members to be careful of requests for donations in Maynard's name, saying that donations have been made to a fund that they have not received or seen. They said the family does not need financial assistance for his funeral.

Anyone with information can call Minneapolis police at 612-692-8477.

Chao Xiong • 612-673-4391