(NY TIMES) – A 15-year-old Brooklyn boy was charged on Tuesday with five counts of attempted murder in a shooting the previous day that left a 6-year-old boy, his mother and three men wounded, officials said.
The shooting, which took place at around 3 a.m. Monday in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, marred an unofficial celebration of J’Ouvert, a yearly event before the West Indian American Day Parade that, like the parade, was canceled this year because of the pandemic.
Investigators believe that the shooting involved subsets of two Brooklyn gangs whose long-running feud intensified in February, and that the teenager belonged to one of the warring factions, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the case who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was continuing.
The teenager, Donovan Bailey, was taken into custody at the scene shortly after the shooting and was carrying a Glock pistol, but he was not charged until Tuesday, the authorities said. The Brooklyn district attorney’s office said he would be charged as an adult.
A second man, Kervins Noel, 21, of Queens, was also arrested near where the shooting occurred and had a loaded handgun. He has been charged with criminal possession of a weapon.
The 6-year-old, his mother and the three men were shot in the feet or legs and were expected to survive, officials said.
The law enforcement official said Mr. Bailey was also a suspect in a drive-by shooting last year in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn that left a 33-year-old man dead. In that case, the official said, he was identified as a passenger in the car but it was unclear whether he fired the gun.
In addition, Mr. Bailey and three other teenagers have been charged with robbing two teenage brothers of $55 in Brooklyn in July 2019, court records show. His next scheduled court date in that case is Friday. His court-appointed lawyer in the case did not immediately respond to a call seeking comment.
Despite the cancellation of the J’Ouvert celebration and the parade, video published by The New York Post showed a large, festive crowd marching near the intersection of Nostrand Avenue and Crown Street early Monday, with some people playing musical instruments.
Mr. Bailey marched with the crowd for several blocks, then pulled a pistol and opened fire, the law enforcement official said.
The video footage shows people fleeing and taking cover behind lampposts. One person appears to collapse against a fence and is helped by police officers and passers-by.
One of the victims, Kelly Barthold, 34, said in an interview on Monday that he was on a sidewalk moving along with the crowd when he heard a gunshot.
“When they start shooting, I run,” he said, adding that he heard a second shot, kept running and then felt a bullet hit him. The third bullet he heard knocked him to the ground, he said.
Mr. Barthold said doctors at Kings County Hospital had removed a bullet from his lower right leg, just above his ankle. He said he was feeling “a little bit faint.”
The shootings came amid a citywide surge in gun violence that has concerned the police and city officials and has been seized upon by President Trump as part of his re-election campaign.
Police officials said last week that they would be monitoring the streets of central Brooklyn to ensure that informal parties were not held in place of J’Ouvert, which has been marred in recent years by gun violence, including a series of murders near the parade route.
In 2015, an aide to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo was fatally shot in the crossfire between dueling gangs during the celebration, prompting outrage and a call for more security. The police responded by moving J’Ouvert’s start time to 6 a.m. from 4 a.m. and by installing metal detectors at checkpoints along the parade route.