John Jay student left dead in wake of Brownsville gang shootings
Nine alleged Brownsville gang members, one as young as 15, were variously charged with conspiracy to commit murder in multiple shootings that left an innocent 22-year-old John Jay student dead and 13 others injured, officials announced Tuesday.
Operating out of the Ocean Hill Houses in Brownsville, the Loot Gang left a trail of evidence to their activity on social media sites like Facebook and YouTube, according to a Brooklyn DA statement.
In seven shootings throughout Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bushwick, Fort Greene, Canarsie and Jamaica, Queens, the gang allegedly boasted its dominance and looked for rival gang members to fight.
“We continue to see people shooting people based on beefs,” Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said at a conference. “The motives behind the shootings are so pointless, it baffles us.”
The shootings occurred between November 2015 and August 2016.
Terrell Henry was walking at Wilson Avenue and Covert Street in Bushwick on the night of Aug. 12, 2016, when Quincy Vital, 19, allegedly walked up to him and shot him dead.
Gonzalez believes Henry was shot for wearing red shorts in Loot Gang rival territory.
Henry had no known gang affiliation and was studying to be a police officer.
“If you were in the wrong place at the wrong time, you could be a victim,” Gonzalez said.
Another woman was left with a metal plate in her jaw after she was shot by the alleged gang members in a string of 2016 Fourth of July shootings.
The day of exchanged gunfire between the Loot Gang and the True Bosses Only gang culminated in a Bed-Stuy drive-by shooting that injured seven people, including the woman, according to Gonzalez.
In another instance, a woman waiting on line to get food at a Jamaica, Queens restaurant was used as a human shield by an alleged gang member in a shootout and was shot three times.
As the gangs taunted each other on social media, the NYPD was able to follow their trail.
“Social media is a big part of it,” NYPD Assistant Chief James Essig said. “That’s a road map to their violence.”
While there were 77 less shootings in Brooklyn since last year, gang activity still dominates gun violence in the borough, according to Gonzalez.
“Gun by gun, block by block and gang by gang, we’re committed to eliminating these acts of violence,” Gonzalez said at the conference.
Twelve alleged members of the True Bosses Only Bushwick gang were indicted in June for a string of shootings.
The charged alleged Loot Gang members include Dylan Cruz, Vital, David Burston, Earl Gilbert, Legrant Foster, Maurice Ellis, Josiah Morris, Terrard Wimms and an unnamed 15-year-old.
Gilbert has yet to be arrested.
The men face up to 25 years in prison on the top charge.
Some were arraigned Monday before Supreme Court Justice William Harrington and the rest are set to be arraigned this week.