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Teens charged in fatal shooting of 17-year-old youth outside Midwood school

June 27, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Two Brooklyn teenagers have been charged with second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old boy in an ambush outside the victim’s Midwood charter school shortly after school dismissal.

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez identified the defendants as Malachi Simms, 15, and Quran Smith, 16, both of Flatbush, Brooklyn. The defendants, who are being tried as adults, were arraigned on Friday before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Craig Walker on an indictment in which they are charged with second-degree murder and two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. 

The two youths were held without bail and ordered to return to court on August 11, 2021. Smith faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted of the top count. Simms, because of his age, faces up to 15 years to life in prison if convicted of the top count.

Gonzalez said that, according to the investigation, on April 29, 2021, at approximately 2:40 p.m., the defendants allegedly fatally shot Devonte Lewis, 17, as he was leaving Urban Dove Charter School, a high school on East 21st Street near Avenue K.

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The victim, a first-year Urban Dove student who had recently started a maintenance job with the New York City Housing Authority, suffered a gunshot wound to the stomach and was taken to Kings County Hospital, where he died.

The Legal Aid Society worked with Judge Craig Walker to help launch the "Let Them Read" program, which will provide books to kids in the Brooklyn Adolescent and Young Adult Diversion Court as part of a pilot program. Eagle file photo by Rob Abruzzese
Judge Craig Walker. Eagle file photo by Rob Abruzzese

Surveillance video from outside the school allegedly shows both defendants raising their arms to chest height to fire at the victim and continuing to fire after he fell to the ground. Surveillance video taken after the shooting allegedly shows the defendants fleeing on foot.

Police officers recovered .380 and 9mm shell casings and one live 9mm round at the scene of the shooting. A loaded .380 Taurus Spectrum Pistol allegedly fell out of defendant Smith’s pants when he was arrested on May 19, 2021.

Brooklyn District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This is a tragic and shocking case in which the defendants – just 15 and 16 years old – allegedly took the life of a 17-year-old student, brazenly shooting him in the middle of the day outside of a high school. We will never accept this type of cold-blooded violence on the streets of Brooklyn and will now seek justice for this young victim whose life was senselessly cut short.”

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorneys James Slattery and Gillian DiPietro, of the District Attorney’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Jennifer Cilia and Leila Rosini, VCE Deputy Bureau Chiefs.

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