Brooklyn man sentenced to 18 years in prison for drive-by shooting

Pregnant bystander was wounded

July 26, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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On Tuesday in Brooklyn federal court, Steven “Nitty” Bynum, 40, of Brooklyn, was sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment for possessing, brandishing and discharging a firearm as part of a drug distribution conspiracy. 

As revealed during trial before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ann M. Donnelly, in early 2017, Bynum had stolen drugs from a rival drug dealer and distributed the drugs around Crown Heights’ Kingsborough Houses. In June of 2017, the rival drug dealer then responded by assaulting Bynum near the Kingsborough Houses. 

On September 10, 2017, Bynum rented a car and drove to the vicinity of 2070 Dean Street in East New York to retaliate against the rival drug dealer. Bynum circled the block and slowed within distance of the rival drug dealer and a group of people he was standing with, including the pregnant victim, a resident of the neighborhood. Bynum fired multiple shots into the crowd, aiming for the individual who had assaulted him, with an illegally possessed 9mm handgun and missed the rival drug dealer, shooting the five-month pregnant victim in the head twice. 

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As a result of the shooting, the victim is permanently paralyzed on her right side with cognitive and speech impediments and suffers from other serious medical issues, having undergone multiple surgeries and two-month’s recovery in the hospital. The victim’s baby was born two months’ prematurely but survived.

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, John B. DeVito, Special Agent-in-Charge, ATF New York Field Division, and Keechant L. Sewell, Commissioner of the NYPD, announced the sentence.

“Today’s sentence holds the defendant accountable for his callous and wanton disregard for human life and safety in opening fire and shooting a pregnant bystander in the head, causing her permanent paralysis,” said U.S. Attorney Peace.

“Today’s sentencing of a violent criminal shows the steadfast commitment by ATF to identify and bring to justice those who commit any act of violence in our communities” said ATF Special Agent-in-Charge DeVito. 

“The defendant’s vile actions and disregard for human life left a mother paralyzed and threatened the life of her unborn child. Thanks to the efforts of the ATF/NYPD Sparta Task Force, this defendant will no longer be able to commit willful acts of violence and prey upon the citizens we have sworn to protect.”

“Gun violence has absolutely no place in New York City,” said NYPD Commissioner Sewell.  “The NYPD, working in tandem with our law enforcement partners, is relentless in its pursuit of the very few people in our city who are responsible for the majority of the violence.  Today’s sentencing sends a strong message that this behavior will never be tolerated in New York City, and that anyone reckless enough to pick up and use an illegal gun here will face the full consequences of their actions.”


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