Authorities have charged three men for the murder of Carey Gabay, an aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who was shot last year as he walked down a Brooklyn street after attending a celebration.
Gabay, 43, was shot in the head on Sept. 7, 2015 in front of the Ebbets Field Houses in Crown Heights while hundreds of people celebrated J’ouvert, a traditional festival held before the annual West Indian American Day Parade. He later died at the hospital on Sept. 15.
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson announced on Wednesday that Micah Alleyne, 24, of Queens; and Brooklyn residents Tyshawn Crawford, 21, and Keith Luncheon, 24 were variously charged in a 16-count indictment with murder, criminal possession of a weapon and reckless endangerment.
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A fourth individual — 25-year-old Stanley Elianor of Brooklyn — was arraigned last October on an indictment charging him with criminal possession of a weapon.
“These defendants are charged with creating a killing field in a crowd of innocent people, showing depraved indifference to human life and causing the death of Carey Gabay, who used his Harvard education and commitment to public service to improve the lives of others,” Thompson said. “This indictment shows the importance of our efforts to put an end to gang-related gun violence that places innocent lives in the crossfire.”
According to prosecutors, the incident took place in the early hours of Sept. 7, 2015 during which the patio and street in front of the Ebbets Field Houses were filled with people celebrating.
The housing project’s large patio has been known to be controlled by the Folk Nation street gang, which has been in a longtime battle with the 8-Trey division of the Crips gang, authorities said.
Investigators discovered that “due to heightened tensions” there were numerous armed gang members in the area and had the intention to shoot any rivals on sight.
Prosecutor said that at about 3:40 a.m. that day a group of 8-Trey members walked up and headed towards the J’ouvert procession, which then started a gun battle between the separate gangs.
With shots being fired from the street and the patio, investigators estimated that about two to three dozen shots were fired consecutively from a total of about eight weapons.
During this time, Gabay — who was a first deputy counsel for the Empire State Development Corporation and former assistant counsel to Cuomo — had been walking on Bedford Avenue with his brother and friends. Gabay passed in front of the patio right when the gun battle started.
Although the group ran to a nearby parking lot between the patio and street and ducked, a bullet hit Gabay in the head. He was taken to Kings Country Hospital Center, where he died a week later.
Investigators were able to identify Micah Alleyne — an alleged Folk Nation member — on a surveillance video where he can be seen running back into the building from the patio while holding a gun. He was arrested on May 26 and allegedly admitted he was on the patio and did fire his gun.
Tyshawn Crawford — an alleged member of Hoodstarz, a gang affiliated with Folk Nation — was also caught on video on the street pulling out a gun, authorities said. The gun was later recovered after a traffic stop of a cab last November and matched three shell casings.
Keith Luncheon, who is allegedly an 8-Trey member, was seen shooting a firearm during the incident and later made statements about his presences at the scene.
“Carey Gabay was a dedicated public servant whose life was cut short due to reckless gun violence – tragedy that plagues too many of our communities. With Carey's help, New York passed the nation's toughest gun safety law, but his murder underscores the fact that our federal gun laws are woefully inadequate,” Cuomo said. “While we took a great step forward with our historic legislation, without action from Congress, known criminals will continue to buy guns in other states today and sell them on the black market in New York tomorrow.”
According to prosecutors, all three men were indicted on “depraved indifference murder under the theory of mutual combat,” which means because they all entered into an agreement to engage in a gunfight they are all equally responsive for the murder — regardless of who fired the gun.
Each of the men face a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison if convicted of their top charge.