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2 men charged in connection with the fatal shooting of a 1-year-old boy in New York

Andrew Cuomo

Two men were charged Thursday in the connection with the fatal shooting of a 1-year-old boy in New York City last year, according to a news release from the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office.

The baby, identified as Davell Gardner, was killed last July on the sidewalk in front of Brooklyn’s Raymond Bush Playground.

Less than a year after that shooting, Dashawn Austin, 25, and Akeem Artis, 24, were arrested and charged in connection with the shooting and Davell’s death. Both men are members of a local street gang called the Hoolies and the violence was motivated by gang rivalry and retaliation, according to the Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez’s office.

Artis was the driver of a car from which Austin and a second shooter, who was not named, exited and then allegedly fired into a crowd attending a cookout on July 12, 2020, according to the indictment. Four people were shot, including the infant. The other victims, all innocent bystanders, survived.

The men are also two of 18 charged in a 63-count indictment for gang-related activity including multiple counts of murder and weapons charges.

CNN is working to confirm the legal representation for the suspects.

Between May 2018 and September 2020, members of the Hoolies gang are accused of committing four murders and eight non-fatal shootings that involved nine victims, according to a new release from Gonzalez’s office. Seven of the 13 victims were innocent people who were not rivals of the gang, the release said.

“Insidious gang violence as we allege in this case has taken and traumatized far too many lives, including many innocents such as Davell Gardner — a bright and loved baby boy with his whole life ahead of him,” Gonzalez said.

New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea says the alleged gang members were willing to kill “without regard for innocent people caught in the crossfire.”

“This violence has to stop and cases like these are only made more solid when NYPD detectives and Assistant District Attorneys work hand-in-glove to build them from the beginning,” Shea said.

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