New York authorities have charged two men in connection with a 2020 shooting that left a 1-year-old boy dead.
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced the news Thursday, less than a year after the deadly incident at Raymond Bush Playground. Investigators say 25-year-old Dashawn Austin had driven up to the area at around 11 p.m. on July 22, when 24-year-old Akeem Artis and another unidentified suspect exited the car and opened fire at a group of people attending a barbeque. Four people were shot during the attack, including 22-month old Davell Gardner Jr. The other three victims, who were described as innocent bystanders, survived their injuries.
“[Davell was] sitting in his stroller when he was shot and killed,” Gonzalez said when announcing the charges. “Too young, too small to survive his injuries. Two gunmen shooting indiscriminately towards a park where people were having a barbeque.”
According to CNN, Austin and Artis are alleged members of a violent street gang known as Hoolies. They are among 18 defendants named in a 63-count indictment for gang-related crimes, including multiple homicides and non-fatal shootings. Authorities say more than half of the 13 victims were innocent people who had no gang affiliations.
“Insidious gang violence as we allege in this case has taken and traumatized far too many lives,” Gonzalez added, “including many innocents such as Davell Gardner — a bright and loved baby boy with his whole life ahead of him.”
Austin and Artis face a slew of charges, including multiple counts of conspiracy, second-degree murder, attempted murder, reckless endangerment, and criminal possession of a weapon.